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April 1, 2020

Grain Logistics in Argentina are Tenuous at Best

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The logistical situation in Argentina is tenuous. Numerous mayors across the heart of Argentina closed their cities to ground transport including trucks hauling grain to the numerous crushing plants and ports along the Parana River near the city of Rosario. During the first week of March, 28,000 trucks hauling agricultural products arrived at Rosario ports. That declined to 13,000 during the first five days of last week.

The Rosario Grain Exchange indicated last Friday that less than half of the normal amount of soybeans were arriving at local crushing plants. Farmers are hesitant to send a truck to the ports in fear of the possibility of being quarantined along the way. Argentina is the world's largest soybean meal exporter and nearly all of Argentina's soybean meal is produced in the Rosario region.

One of the unions representing workers at the Argentine ports asked the Argentine president, Alberto Fernandez, late last week to suspend port activities for a 15-day period in order to safeguard the health of the workers. Even though the president ordered a lock down of the country until March 31st, an exception to the order was given for the production, distribution, and commercialization of agricultural and livestock products including export activities.

For the time being, the ports in Argentina are functioning normally, but labor unrest at the ports is always a possibility in Argentina as soybean and soybean meal exports ramp up.