Buenos Aires, January 7, 2019. The crisis of Vicentin, one of the two iconic Argentine soybean crushing industries alongside Aceitera General Deheza (AGD), could be weighted through this number: since December 1, the company only registered exports by 3,000 tons (of soybean meal), an insignificant volume considering that, in the same lapse, AGD registered 1,2 million tons.
Other grain trading companies, like Cofco, OMSA (owned by Glencore), Molinos Agro or LDC, registered above one million tons in this period.
Vicentin declared the “financial stress” one month ago, but in the meanwhile it stopped their operation. Crushing plants remain closed and the company was not able to re-profile its financial debt. Public institution Banco Nacion Argentina is the largest creditor of the company, with AR$18,100 million or around US$300 million. But the latest talks between Vicentin officials and the bank managers did not arrive at an agreement. Even worse, checks emitted by Vicentin are being rejected by AR$20 million.
Media reports estimated the debt of Vicentin above one billion dollars, considering not only the bank debt but the obligations with farmers that delivered its grain to the company.
Next Friday ends the term that grain commerce institutions gave to the company to regularize its financial obligation. But everything indicates that the company will not be able to do it. This situation occurs even when its partner at the Renova facility, Glencore, acquired a 17% of the Vicentin’s shares in the JV by 350 million dollars in November, prior to the “financial stress”.
The magnitude of the crisis is so large that commercial operators are being more cautious than ever. In fact, the unusual patience exhibited by them expressed the terrible consequences of a bankruptcy. Even the Santa Fe province authorities and the national ones are following the case closely.