January 20, 2004



Argentina Soy Prices Hit Two Year High


Argentine soy prices hit a two-year high for the second straight season on Monday following strong demand from local crushers.


Soy closed at 692/693 pesos per ton (about US$239) in the main soy-exporting port of Rosario, up from 688.1 pesos on Friday. This price is the highest since a sharp currency devaluation in January 2002.


Trade in Rosario totaled 15,000 tons -- half of what was sold in the prior session.

"Although Chicago was not operating, demand from local industry kept pushing prices up," a Rosario-based trader said.


Local prices tend to track movement in Chicago, but the futures market was closed on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.


2003/04 soy for shipping between April and May closed stable in Rosario at $212 per tonne.


2002/03 corn closed up 1.1 pesos at 257 pesos per ton in Rosario, in thin trade. Corn closed stable at 250 pesos in Bahia Blanca and ended even at 255 pesos in Buenos Aires.


2003/04 wheat for export lost 1.5 pesos to close at 380 pesos per ton in Rosario, while in Bahia Blanca wheat closed steady at 370 pesos. In Quequen wheat closed stable to 10 pesos higher at 360/370 pesos.


Mills in Buenos Aires paid 380/385 pesos per ton for high-quality wheat, compared to 384.3 pesos in the prior session.


2003/04 sunflower seeds closed up 1 peso at 605 pesos per ton in Rosario, while sunseeds from the prior campaign closed even at 565 pesos in Bahia Blanca and Quequen.


(US$1 = 2.90 pesos)

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