Soybean Argentina 2023: A Comprehensive Analysis


Jun 21, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

As one of the world’s leading soybean exporters, Argentina has a significant impact on global soybean trade. But the 2023 agricultural year has proven to be a challenging one for the country. This article provides an in-depth look into the factors influencing soybean production in Argentina in 2023, including acreage, production, key production regions, and the effects of weather conditions on the crop yield.

Soybean Production in Argentina

For the 2022/2023 marketing year, Argentina’s soybean production is estimated to reach a 14-year low of 33.0 million tons, a significant drop from previous years. Various sources provide varying figures, with the Safras & Mercado consultancy revising the production estimate for 2022/2023 to about 24.8 million tons, showing a drop of 6.6 million tons in Argentine soy production.

Despite these challenges, Argentina’s soybean sector is showing signs of resilience. It’s estimated that farmers in Argentina will increase their soybean acreage by 700,000 hectares to 16.7 million, mainly because soybeans are cheaper to grow and are less inclined to be impacted by adverse weather.

For the 2023/2024 marketing year, a recovery in soybean and peanut production is projected at 50.5 MMT and 1.32 MMT, respectively, due to higher planted acreage and a hopeful return to normal weather conditions.

Argentina Soybean Exports

During the challenging year of 2023, despite a decline in local production, Argentina has been able to maintain significant soybean exports. A remarkable quantity of soybeans has been exported to China, with a total of approximately 620,324 tons from Jan to June, according to AgFlow data. This highlights China’s role as a major market for Argentina’s soybean exports. In addition, Peru received around 19,999 tons in May, indicating a broader reach of Argentina’s export activities. There was also a notable shipment of approximately 23,100 tons to Indonesia in February. These figures not only display the resilience of Argentina’s soybean sector but also underline its critical role in the global soybean supply chain, even amidst challenging circumstances. Furthermore, a significant portion of the soybeans was also circulated within Argentina, supporting domestic consumption and industrial use during a period of decreased production.

Key Regions of Soybean Production

In Argentina, key regions contributing to soybean production include Buenos Aires and Córdoba, accounting for 31% and 28% of total soybean production respectively.

Challenges: The Historic Drought of 2023

One of the key factors impacting soybean production in Argentina in 2023 is the severe drought, termed “historic” by some reports. This drought has significantly strained the crop in key growing regions, leading to consecutive downward adjustments in production estimates.

The drought’s impact extends beyond the immediate loss of crops. It is also causing a decline in the crush forecast to the lowest level in over a decade. This decline in Argentina’s supplies will have implications for the global trade of soybeans, protein meal, and vegetable oils over the coming months.

In a Nutshell

The year 2023 presents a challenging scenario for soybean production in Argentina due to the severe drought conditions. Despite these challenges, there are signs of resilience and potential recovery in the 2023/2024 marketing year. The situation underscores the importance of understanding the interplay of various factors, such as weather conditions, crop selection decisions by farmers, and regional characteristics in shaping agricultural outputs. Despite the hardships, Argentina’s soybean industry continues to be a key player in the global market.

Other sources: USDA

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