January 26, 2004



Argentina's Soy Exports Up As China Exports Soar


Argentina exported 247,373 metric tons of soybeans in November, or 343.3% more than the 55,801 tons exported during the same month a year ago, the Agriculture Secretariat reported Friday.


Exports rose as sales to China soared, data show.


Sales to China rose to 121,000 tons from just 19,760 tons a year ago. It is estimated that China accounts for about two-thirds of total soybean exports from Argentina, according to official Argentine data.


Agriculture Secretary Miguel Campos said last year that exports to China in both 2003 and 2004 would total around 7 million tons.


Traders say the Asian giant is buying more and more beans to keep up with demand from its growing domestic crushing industry.


"The Chinese economy is just exploding," Campos said in December, shortly after visiting China. "It is a huge market for us."


Taiwan was the second biggest buyer of soybeans in November, accounting for 61,950 tons, compared with none during the same month a year ago.


Israel ranked third with 15,934 tons against none a year earlier.


Secretariat officials estimate Argentina will produce around 36 million tons of soybeans during the 2003-04 campaign, compared with 34.8 million in 2002-03.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put 2003-04 Argentine output at 36.5 million tons against 35.5 million the previous year.


Argentina is the world's No. 3 soybean producer and exporter behind Brazil and the U.S.

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