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The owners of soybeans who do not risk a single penny

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In the context of growing economic uncertainty, soybeans are once again in the spotlight. Unfortunately , it is not because of the unexplored potential of the crop and all that it could give if there were no limitations . It is because in the face of the resounding fall in the Central Bank’s reserves and the shortage of dollars, the oilseed from the 21/22 business cycle that has not yet been sold is targeted.

The fact that there is a slowdown in sales compared to last season by about 4.1 million tons, which would represent about US$1.2 billion, gives rise to different reactions and speculations.

The most absurd is that of staunch Kirchnerism that believes that the Government should force producers to sell soybeans . Disregarding property rights , he argues that the countryside is a speculative sector. Those who hold this position forget that the soybean, while it is not sold, belongs to the person who produced it and who, as the owner, decides how and when to sell it. It already has enough with the tax pressure, via export duties (DEX) of 33%, which constitutes another violation of property rights, and the exchange rate gap .

Another vision, more rational, could be the one expressed by the exporters who suggested a drop in the DEX as former Minister Martín Guzmán did two years ago to encourage sales of the oilseed . More complex would be the launch of a bond that can be used to buy inputs. The fixed term of Banco Nación with additional rates to cover a possible devaluation is also included in this line.

These proposals, in any case, constitute shortcuts that do not solve the main problem: macroeconomic uncertainty . This is reflected in the exchange gap. Until last week, the Rosario Stock Exchange (BCR) had calculated it at 126%, the highest figure since the 2019 exchange split.

It is this same uncertainty that is present with the restrictions on imports that are already becoming a true boomerang . The BCR also calculated that there could be a drop in revenue from corn exports of about 1.8 billion dollars if the brake on fertilizer purchases is maintained. In a report, the entity estimated that imports in the first semester, in tons, were reduced by 12% compared to the same period of the previous year, although in prices they increased by 132% as a result of the rise in the price of urea, fundamentally . Although the international prices of this product are falling, the risk that the obstacles remain is present. At work, hea BCR projects that the average corn yield would drop from 81.8 qq/ha (taking the 20/21 campaign as a reference, not affected by the drought) to 70.8 qq/ha if the obstacles are maintained .

Those who believe that they own soybeans and have not put a single penny into planting the crop ignore the risk factors that weigh on the decision of the producer . In the last two months, the value of the oilseed in the local market (available) has been reduced by 9.2%. In an increasingly complex international context – due to the rise in the dollar and the recession in the economies of the most developed countries – it is not unreasonable to find a downward horizon in prices. Are those who today rant against soybeans stored in silobags going to contribute something there? As always, partners in profits, but never in losses .

To this, too, are added factors such as the rise in input costs. According to a report by the consulting firm Zorraquin+Meneses, “the costs to plant one hectare have increased between 30% and 50% compared to the previous campaign . ” Similarly, rents “have increased by 10% on average, complicating those who sow or produce and this year favoring the owner of the land.”

The lack of dollars: they reveal that grain sales have few differences with previous years

In this scenario, other more structural changes are added, such as the diversification of crops, with a greater weight of cereals that expands the commercial strategy in agricultural plans.

With a single exchange rate, stabilized economy and reasonable tax pressure, that is, conditions that exist in neighboring countries, the concerns should be other: how to improve logistics, how to add value or how to enter more quickly in the technological revolution of the digital agriculture. A look to the future and not to the past.


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