Argentine halts export registrations

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On Wednesday, February 26, U.S. soybean futures extended a rebound from a sharp drop earlier this week.  Meanwhile, investors were expecting Argentine export taxes to change. As a result, this new state adjustment would reduce export competition from the major soy supplier.

Corn and wheat futures eased on pressure from a firmer dollar. However, the concerns that the spread of coronavirus could stall grain shipments around the world and dent global economic growth.  The virus has infected about 80,000 people worldwide. Cases have increased outside of China this week, including in major grain importers Japan and South Korea.  The chaos in the trade industry is starting to spread all around the world. However, Soybeans, remain docked by export competition from top supplier Brazil. The country’s record-large harvest is priced well below U.S. exports.

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Here is some basic info on Argentina’s commodities:

  • Export goods – Soybeans and derivatives vehicles, corn, wheat, gas, and petroleum.
  • Exports USD 65billion (2019 est.)
  • Main export partners –  Brazil 16.0%, China 10.0%, United States 6.0% and Chile 5.0% (2019).
  • Imports USD 49.12 billion (2019 est.)

May soy meal futures added USD 5.31 to USD 298.30 per ton, the contract’s steepest rise in nearly four months. CBOT May corn was down 2 cents at USD 3.76-1/2 a bushel, while May soft red winter wheat fell 1-1/4 cents to USD 5.36-3/4 a bushel.

However, there is a severe disruption to economic activity in China. From the very first day that the virus first developed, it has already dampened hopes for increased Chinese imports of U.S. agricultural goods.  The Trade War Phase One agreement between Washington and Beijing started to crumble.

The risk of a wider impact on demand was adding to concern on grain markets all around the globe.  Although, with an economic impact possibly strong on global growth, steady short-term buying by importers was helping underpin prices.

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