Brazil’s soybean meal exports skyrocket as drought disrupts Argentina’s export route

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, October 8 (Reuters) – Soybean meal shipments from the Brazilian port of Paranagua surged in September due to high demand and a drought that disrupted a traditional logistics route through Argentina.

In a statement sent to Reuters on Friday, the Brazilian port authority in Paranagua said exporters shipped 419,314 tonnes of soybean meal last month, an increase of 35% from August and nearly 33% compared to the same month a year ago.

International prices and demand have favored an increase in Brazil’s soybean meal exports, according to the Paranagua Export Corridor Terminals Association, cited in the statement.

In addition, the shipment to Brazil of soybean meal imported from Paraguay was a factor.

“The neighboring country, which was transporting its soybean meal by barge to Argentinian ports (…) had to look for alternatives,” said the statement from the Paranagua port authority. Due to the drought and the low water level in the Rio de la Plata basin, these barges cannot navigate, so the product is sent by road and shipped from Brazil, the statement added.

Large Brazilian agricultural cooperatives like Coamo and multinationals like Cargill and Louis Dreyfus shipped soybean meal from Paranagua in September, the statement said.

According to forecasts, 150,000 tonnes of soybean meal should arrive from Paraguay for export from Paranagua, located in southern Brazil, by the end of this year, the authority said.

As the drought persists, some 400,000 tonnes of Paraguayan soybean meal are expected to arrive and be shipped from Paranagua in 2022, the statement added.

Brazil’s main competitor in international soybean markets is Argentina.

“The drought on the Rio de la Prata has also affected the price of the Argentine product, making it less competitive and opening up the market in Brazil,” the statement said. (Report by Ana Mano Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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