(Photo: Official Jesus Silveyra met Prime Minister from Maharashtra, offering agricultural cooperation)

Buenos Aires, January 29 th. In January, Agricultural Markets deputy secretary, Mr. Jesus Silveyra, met different Indian officials and local leaders in the agricultural sector, preparing the visit of the Argentina President, Mr. Mauricio Macri, next February 19th.

As the official press release said, the Argentine mission was focused in the agricultural trading between the countries. “With 1.3 billion people, India is the fifth world economy”, the press release says. In this context, the oilseed exports are a key issue for Argentina.

According to the Statistics and Census National Institute (INDEC), during 2018 India imported 1.9 MMT of soybean oil worth 1.3 billion dollars from Argentina, versus 2.5 MMT in 2017 (US$1.8 billion).

Also, the Asian country imported 110,000 MT of sunflower oil in 2017 from Argentina and 58,500 in 2018, worth US43 million.

But sources of www.eFarmNewsAr.com in the Indian commodities trading sector think that this year vegoil imports from Argentina could drop. In the case of soybean oil, it would occur due to a differential duty on Malaysian olein. In the case of the sunflower oil, the reduction in the imports would due to a higher wax content and higher bleachability that leading to discounts.

Domestic sources in the oilseed industry agree that Ukrainian sunflower oil has a better quality than the Argentine one. But they also say that this year India will increase its imports of soybean oil. “Today, we have already finished businesses for 450,000 tons”, our source says. “And it is estimated that exports for other 150,000 of sunflower oil will be closed in the next weeks”, he adds.

But our source admits that while palm oil import duty drops from 45 to 40% since January 1st, the soybean oil stay quite at 35 percent. “Despite this fact, I don´t think that they buy less soybean oil from Argentina this year. In fact they are afraid about that European Union lift the ban over Argentine biodiesel export that it would implies 1.2 million metric tons of soybean oil derived to the biodiesel elaboration”, the source added. (Effectively, a day after, (January 30th) the EU greenlight biodiesel imports from Argentina).

Where there coincidence is about the increasing of grain purchase by India. The “star” crop is the barley, where export could rise from 60K tons last year to 200 or 250K tons in the current year.