During 2021, Argentine soybean crushing exceeded the volume of 2020 by 17.5% and the pre-pandemic level by 2.9%
With 42,429,112 tons, the grinding of soybeans in Argentina was 17.5% higher in 2021 than the volume of 2020, of 36,096,564 tons, and 2.9% higher than the total processed in 2019, the year before the impact of the pandemic –and the complications that it generated for the operation of the factories–, with 41,243,741 tons.
This follows from the last monthly grinding report released by the National Ministry of Agriculture, where the annual balance was completed with 2,950,093 tons processed during December, which exceeded the 2,919,056 tons of November by 1.1%. and by 248.3% the 846,919 tons of the last month of 2020.
Notably the volume processed in 2021 was the second highest historical mark, behind the 44,486,714 tons of 2016 and ahead of the 41,824,091 tons of 2017.
Beyond the statistical data, from the Chamber of the Oil Industry of the Argentine Republic (Ciara) and the Cereal Exporters Center (CEC) they highlighted that with the volume of milling in December there was a new increase in idle capacity of the industry, which reached almost 50%. “Idle capacity has been increasing continuously since May, when it reached 30%. It is currently at 50%. If there is no increase in the sale of soybeans by producers, there may be an increase in this idle capacity,” the entity said.
The president of Ciara-CEC, Gustavo Idígoras, told LA NACION that to reverse the current idle level of the oil industry, what is needed is “a policy to promote the cultivation of soybeans in Argentina, which has been stagnant for 10 years, in addition to a reduction in export duties and the introduction of new crop technologies, urgently”.
Regarding grinding margins, according to Ciara-CEC, towards the end of 2021, margins showed a fleeting recovery, after a second half of the year with negative results. “In the last week of December, margins were positive again, but for a very short time. In the first week of January, the market changed its trend again. High volatility in the prices of the entire soybean complex; the drought effect, reducing production in South American countries, and the return of the Paraná River downspout, which raised export costs, are the variables that caused the return of negative margins for milling,” the entity said.