Buenos Aires, March 28th. Perhaps the datum shocks you, but according to the Statistics and Census National Institute (INDEC) during the first two months 2019, biodiesel exports were nulls.

A year before, the biodiesel industry had exported 243K tons worth 176 million dollars. Now the closing both the US and European market have left the industry empty-handed.

But what happens with all the soybean oil not transformed into biodiesel? According to the INDEC, soyoil exports increased by 68% from US$338 million in the first two months 2018 to 568 million dollars in 2019. The US$230 million difference compensates the US$176 million lost in biodiesel exports. India, Bangladesh, and Peru were the countries that increased their purchases of soybean oil, year to year comparison.

While the industry is waiting for the new harvest, estimated at 53/54 million metric tons, during last summer soybean crushing dropped 5% to 4.8 MMT in the first bimester, due to the lack of raw material. In fact, the crushing industry had to import 1.4 MMT of soybean, mostly from the US and Paraguay, to sustain its activity. Imported soybean represented 29% of the total crushing.

But as soybean oil exports replaced biodiesel ones, soybean exports increased at the beginning of the year at expenses of soybean meal ones.

In the next chart by RIA Consultores, it is synthesized soybean complex exports during the first bimester, in respect to 2018.


As it can see, net trade decreased 25% in 2019 to US$1.309 million versus US$1.741 last year.