February 4, 2005



Argentina's 2004 soybean, soyoil exports update 


Argentina exported 7.148 million metric tons of soybeans in 2004, according to the latest data from the country's animal- and food-health agency, Senasa.


This puts exports down about 25% from 2003, when they totalled 9.48 million tons.


As measured in dollars, Argentina shipped US$1.92 billion worth of soybeans in 2004, compared with US$1.97 million in 2003. Higher soybean prices in the first half of 2004 enabled export revenue to closely match that of the previous year even as the volume of exports declined.


Exports were down in part because soybean output was lower.


In 2003-04 Argentina produced 32 million tons of soybeans, 8.6% less than the 35 million harvested in 2002-03. In addition, China, Argentina's top soybean importer, bought less in 2004.


Senasa's data differs substantially from similar data released recently by Argentina's Agriculture Secretariat. According to the Secretariat, Argentina exported 6,667,817 tons of soybeans last year, compared with 8,850,612 tons in 2003.


Officials have been unable to explain why the numbers differ.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture sees 2004-05 soybean production at 39 million tons. It estimates that Argentina will export 7.67 million tons of 2004-05 soybeans.


The country also exported 2.13 million metric tons of soyoil in 2004, according to the latest data from the country's animal- and food-health agency, Senasa.


That puts soyoil exports down 6.7% from 2.48 million tons in 2003.


In terms of value, Argentina shipped $1.279 billion worth of soyoil in 2004, compared with $1.244 billion the previous year.


As for soymeal, exports (including flour and pellets) totalled 10.934 million tons last year. This is up 3% from 10.6 million tons in 2003, according to Senasa.


Again, this differs from recent data released by the Agriculture Secretariat, which showed 2004 soyoil exports totalling 4,588,119 tons.


In addition, Senasa's soymeal data differs substantially from the Secretariat's soymeal statistics, which put 2004 soymeal exports at 19,139,472 tons.


Argentina is the world's leading exporter of soyoil and soymeal, according to the USDA, and the world's No. 3 soybean producer and exporter behind the U.S. and Brazil.

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