Buenos Aires, December 25, 2019. The official data from the National Census and Statistics Institute (INDEC) is clear: from January to November soybean appears as the most dynamic product of the Argentine export basket. This oilseed is at the top of the ranking since exports jumped from US$1.1 billion in 2018 to US$3.1 billion in 2019, or 179% interannual increase.

Exports totalize 9.8 million metric tons, of which 8.6 MMT were bought by China, for US$2.9 billion. Egypt occupies second place in the importers ranking with 652K tons. The weight of China as the largest customer this year could be measured since they bought 3.4 MMT in 2018 (Jan-Dec) versus 6.6 MMT in 2017.

Clearly, the combination of the trade war between the US and China and a normal offer of soybean in the domestic market help the exporters to increase their embarks to the Asian country.

The latest report from the INDEC shows that the soybean complex represents 26% of the total Argentine export this year. Summing soybean, soybean meal, soybean oil and biodiesel, exports totalize US$15.5 billion versus 13.3 billion last year (Jan-Nov).

But if soybean exports lead the rank of the complex, both biodiesel as soybean meal shows a bad interannual performance. In the following chart from RIA Consultores it is able to see that biodiesel exports drop 28% YoY while soybean meal exports drop another 5%. Instead of this trend, soybean oil exports grow 20% on an interannual basis. Total complex exports expand 16% this year thanks to the contribution of the bean.

“In the case of biodiesel, the oilseed industry is restricting its production due to the difficulties in the foreign markets, increasing the soybean oil exports. But the back in the soybean meal exports could be explained by the lower fiscal incentive to crush the bean since the last government eliminated the gap between the raw material export tax versus the byproducts one”, a source of the market told to eFarmNewsAr.com.

During this year, Vietnam and Indonesia appear as the most dynamic markets, heading the purchases. Vietnam imported 3.9 MMT and Indonesia 2.8 MMT, surpassing the traditional European buyers. After Spain and Italy, Algeria, Malaysia, and Iran occupy the fifth, sixth and seventh places in the rank. These seven countries represent 13.4 MMT or half of the total exports.