The soybean harvest will be less than a third of what was expected, due to the drought

The soybean harvest will be less than a third of what was expected, due to the drought

The soyone of the main export crops of the Uruguaycontinues to suffer the effects of the drought and the harvest will not even complete a third of what is normally obtained from this crop: an estimated maximum of 800 thousand tons compared to the 3 million originally calculated for this year.

The soybean harvest takes just between 25 and 30% and it is estimated that it reaches at least 650 thousand and at most 800 thousand. This represents less than a third of what was expected to be harvested this year. The drought changed the soybean plans, since Uruguay has been planting just over one million hectares, with an expected average yield (in a normal year) of between 2.5 and 2.8 tons/ha. So that an expected “normal” harvest would be 3 million tons.

This represents a hard blow for exports since in 2022 this item contributed 1,992 million dollars of the 13,556 million entered, according to data from Uruguay XXI. In this sense, it is necessary to remember that, in 2018, a drop in the soybean export sector dragged down all the values ​​obtained.

In that year, the total increase in exports from free zones, according to Uruguay XXI, was barely 0.4% totaling 9,088 million dollars. But this was affected by the poor soybean harvest since, had it not been for it, exports would have increased by 9%. At that time, the total exports of the oilseed was 526 million dollarsa 56% less than in 2017.

A poor quality soybean, but with the possibility of placement

In an interview with Tiempo de Cambio, the manager of Garmet, Santiago Morelli, explained that, despite the low expectations regarding the quality of the soybeans to be harvested, a product was obtained that managed to enter within a commercial quality.

However, there is presence of weeds quarantines that are not admissible in the chinese market. In this way, it is differentiating itself to study what can go to the Chinese market and what would go to other markets. A possible alternative is the Argentine market with demand of the oil industry which currently covers its shortages with grains from Brazil.

An alternative to soy

Faced with the difficulties currently presented by the soybean market, the country continues to bet on the pulp exportsnot only to offset the decline in soybeans, but also in the placement of beef, which, until last month, was the main Uruguayan export product.

In this sense, pulp exports continue to experience monthly increases and reached a total of 172 million dollars in April, which represented a 26% increase in the year-on-year comparison. So this product represented 12% of the total exported in 2022.

The Uruguay XXI export report for the month of April did not go unnoticed the start of operations in the new UPM plant —UPM 2. In this regard, he points out that, once the country’s three pulp mills are exporting, it is expected that this will be the main export product From Uruguay.

In any case, due to the growth in pulp sales during April and the parallel decrease in bovine meat shipments —they fell 46% month-on-month—, the product from paper mills positioned itself as the main exported last month.

Source: Ambito

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