(Photo: Mr. Beheran, left, was appointed in charge of the Agricultural Counseling at the Argentinian Embassy in India)

Buenos Aires, July 11th. President Macri’s administration decided to open a new Agricultural Counseling in India, a 1,4 billion people country and “one of the largest market in the world”, according to the Order 463/2019, published in the Official Register last week.

The government is trying to tight ties with the Asian country through feed and food commerce. India is a strong buyer of vegetable oils and pulses, and Argentina is viewing a huge opportunity there.

Mr. Mariano Beheran was appointed as the new Agro-Industrial Attaché in the Argentinian embassy in India. Formed in the Buenos Aires University as Agriculture Economy and Administration Diplomate, he was working at the Agro-Industry secretariat as a counselor of the Cabinet Chief, coming from the influential Argentine Association of Regional Consortiums for Agricultural Experimentation (AACREA).

The press release stresses that last year Argentina exported agricultural goods for US$1,4 billion to India, 92% of them from soybean oil. Argentina is the seventh food and feed supplier of the Asian country. Mr. Beheran has the goal to help to diversify the portfolio of Argentine agro-industrial products to India and boost the technology transfer.

One of the urgent and critical issues is to recover the Indian market for the local sunflower oil, today gained by Ukranian suppliers. In fact, next week an Argentinian delegation from the oilseed industry, headed by Mr. Gustavo Idigoras, chairman of the oilseed chamber, will assist to the International Sunflower Seed & Oil Conference 2019, in Mumbai. They will try to explain to the Indian buyers that local sunflower oil has the same quality as the Ukranian one.

According to the Statistics and Census National Institute (INDEC) after exported 110K tons of sunflower oil to India in 2017, sales dropped to 82K tons in 2018, and in the five first months of 2019 exports rounds 55K tons.