October 29, 2003



Argentina Soy Prices To Hit Highs For the Year

Argentina's soy prices regained upward momentum on Monday to hit highs for the year, tracking gains early in the day on the Chicago Board of Trade grain futures exchange, traders said.


Soy closed up 3 pesos at 620 pesos per ton ($217.50) in the main soy-trading port of Rosario.


Soy sales in Rosario totaled 30,000 to 40,000 tons, up from 25,000 tons on Friday.


Trade is back near recent daily averages of 20,000 to 35,000 tons after hitting 100,000 tons on Oct. 17 when higher prices sparked massive selling.


"At first we thought soy would rise much more because Chicago saw substantial gains," a Rosario-based trader said.


The local market often moves in sync with the CBOT, the world's biggest grain futures market, where contracts closed mixed but where early gains were made on expectations that China will keep buying soy despite higher prices.


Since late July, Argentine soy prices have been increasing steadily when poor weather conditions began to affect crop yields in the United States, the world's No. 1 producer. Brazil ranks second, Argentina third.


Argentina's 2003/04 soy crop is estimated at a record 37 million tons by both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and local government officials.


Soy closed at 615 pesos in Bahia Blanca and ended at 605 pesos in Quequen.


Corn gained 5 pesos to close at 240 pesos per ton in Rosario and ended 3 pesos higher at 237 pesos in Buenos Aires. In Bahia Blanca the grain ended at 225/235 pesos, and in Quequen it closed at 215 pesos.


Wheat for export closed at 330/335 pesos per ton in Rosario. Wheat gained 5 pesos to change hands at 380 pesos in Quequen, and closed at 375 pesos in Bahia Blanca.


Mills in Buenos Aires paid 365/370 pesos for high-quality wheat, compared with 369.5 pesos in the prior session.


($1=2.85 pesos)

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