(Photo: a worker at the YPFB warehouse, with urea bags to send to the retail channel)

Buenos Aires, May 27th. Bolivia is already the fourth foreign urea supplier to Argentina. Through its State-owned oil company YPFB (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales de Bolivia), during 2018 it provided 56,311 tons, over a total 776.168 tons imported by Argentina, or 7 percent.

Bolivia surpassed Gulf country urea exports to Argentina, like Oman, Saudi Arab or the United Arab Emirates. Only Russia, Algeria and Egypt exported more urea than Bolivia (see chart).

Source; RIA Consultores over INDEC database

According to the chairman of YPFB, Oscar Barriga, during 2018 the urea plant produced 320K tons of which 280K were exported. This year is considered by Barriga as the “internationalization year” of YPFB, because they project to increase the production to 500K and to export 420K tons.

In the four first months of 2019, Argentina imported 57,875 tons, and Bolivia supplied 10,398 tons or 18%, rising to the third place behind Algeria (31,900 tons) and Russia Federation (12,771 tons).

The Bolivian company is opening commercial offices in Argentina to accelerate the sales to the farming supply chain. A total of four sales points would bring its operation to the country.

According to the weekly RIA Consultores’ report, it is expected a growing urea demand this season as Argentine farmers are planting more wheat (6.8 million hectares according to the Rosario Grain Exchange) and probably more corn in the next spring.