December 10, 2003



70% of Argentina Soybean Exports Go to China


Argentina exported 9 million tons of soybeans in January to October 2003, almost 70% of which were sold to China, the Argentina government said Tuesday.


For the first ten months in 2003, China bought 6.4 million tons of soybeans for some $1.35 billion, or 128% more than the previous year.


Thailand was the second largest buyer of the South American country's soybean exports, with 732,516 tons for $150.2 million, followed by Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt and Taiwan.


In the first 10 months of the year, Argentine exports of the beans of this leguminous plant - native to southeast Asia and grown for food, forage, soil improvement and its nutritious seeds - climbed 57 percent compared to the same period in 2002.


From January to October, Argentina also exported 2.2 million tons of soybean oil for $378.2 million, and once again China was the principal market, purchasing 1,228,856 tons.


In all, during this period Argentina exported a total of 17.9 million tons of soybean products, which brought in revenues of $2.37 billion.


The legume is one of the country's main crops, and most soybeans grown in Argentina are exported.


Additionally, almost all soybeans grown in Argentina are genetically modified, but there is growing opposition in world markets, particularly the European Union, to these products.


Argentina is the world's second largest producer of GM soybeans, after the United States.

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