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Strong local inflation rates and a recession in the domestic economy has seen Argentina’s facing difficult times in recent years. In spite of this, the country’s agricultural business continues, where possible, to develop and grow. It is one of the main supports of the whole country’s economy.

Argentina’s main crops are soybeans and corn, followed by wheat and then other products such as sunflower, barley, sorghum and other smaller crops.

Overall, the country produces about 100 million tons of agricultural product and with a population of about 40 million, a large part of this production is destined for export.

Soybeans

Year on year soybeans continue to appear as the preferred crop for farmers. It is a popular crop, as it adapts well to different geographical areas and requires less agricultural work to grow. In addition, in a difficult economy soybean also requires less initial investment per hectare for the grower.

Production has increased from about 25 million tons in 2000/01 to 53 million tons in 2013/14. Local consumption of soybeans is relatively low, meaning the majority of the crop goes for export as grain, meal or oil. China is the main destination for grains, Europe and Asia for meal and China, India and Latin America for the oil. Increasingly, the biodiesel industry is also purchasing Argentina’s soybean oil.

Corn

Argentina’s second largest crop, corn, has also seen growth in recent years. It has increased from about 17 million tons in 2000/01 to 33 million tons in 2013/14. Much of the corn is also destined for export, to Latin American countries, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The balance is consumed locally and more recently, by the bioethanol industry.

Wheat

One of Argentina’s traditional products, wheat production is moving in the opposite direction to soybeans and corn. Production has decreased from about 15 or 16 million tons to just 9 million tons. Taking into account this big reduction in volume, most of the country’s wheat is going to the domestic market for local consumption, with only a few tons left for the export markets.

Sunflower

Mainly destined for the oil production industry, sunflowers are a declining crop in Argentina. From a high of 3-4 million tons, production has declined to just 2 million tons. Sunflower oil is destined for both local and export markets.

Barley/Sorghum

These non-traditional products have increased in popularity with farmers in recent years. They have replaced other crops intervened by local government regulations. Over four million tons of barley, and three million tons of sorghum are produced annually. Much of these crops are destined for the export market. Saudi Arabia and Latin America are big buyers of Argentina’s barley, while Japan and Latin America buy the bulk of the country’s sorghum exports.

Bulk Cargo Transports

Argentina’s bulk cargo commodities are shipped to export markets from ports including the up river ports of Rosario, San Lorenzo and San Martin, or the southern ports of Necochea and Bahia Blanca. On average 70% of the grains, 90% of the feedstuffs and 80% of the vegetable oils are shipped from up river ports, while the balance goes out from Necochea and Bahia Blanca.

For further information, please contact:

Pablo Thomas
Agricultural Services Manager
SGS Argentina SA
Tronador 4890 6th floor,
Ciudad de Buenos Aires
C1430DNN Argentina
t: +54 11 4124 2060

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.