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Argentine Grain Moving to Ports as Harvest Progresses

11:07AM Apr 19, 2013


South American crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier says with 40% of the Argentine soybean crop and 32% of the corn crop harvested, attention is moving toward moving the grain into exportable position. Dr. Cordonnier expects similar logistical delays in Argentine as in neighboring Brazil, although getting grain to the ports will run smoother since two-thirds of the soybean crop is within 300 kilometers of the ports.

"An estimated 80% of the soybeans are transported by truck to the ports with 15% arriving by rail and 5% by barge. The vast majority of soybeans arriving by barge are coming out of Paraguay, which lies upstream on the Parana River. In recent days, the number of trucks arriving at the port complex increased to over 4,500 per day," reports Dr. Cordonnier. "Argentina is expected to produce approximately 50 MMT of soybeans and 24 MMT of corn, which combined is 12 MMT more than what was produced in 2011-12. According to the Grain Exchange in Rosario, only 20% of the anticipated soybean production has been sold and 80% still needs to be commercialized."

Dr. Cordonnier says Argentine farmers also contend with numerous economic factors including: high export taxes (35% for soybeans), an inflation rate of approximately 30%, an unfavorable currency exchange rate (the official rate is about 5 pesos to the dollar while the unofficial rate is about 8.5 pesos to the dollar) and "a federal government that has been very antagonistic toward the agricultural sector."