Brazil could become world's largest soymeal exporter amid Argentina losses

4 Apr 2023 | Marcela Caetano

Argentina’s soymeal exports are expected to amount to 20 million mt in 2022/23, the lowest level since 2003, which could allow Brazil to become the world’s biggest exporter, according to data from the Rosario Grains Exchange BCR.

Argentina has been the most important soymeal exporter in global the market since 1998 and soymeal is the main export product of the country.

However, given the severe drought and lower expected soybean output this year, BCR expects Argentina’s soymeal production to amount to just 20.9 million mt.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a bit more optimistic, putting soymeal production at 27.5 million mt and exports at 24.9 million mt.

The agency projects Brazil’s soymeal production, on the other hand, at 40.8 million mt, while it says exports could reach 21.1 million mt in 2022/23.

Brazilian food agency Conab expects a 40.3 million mt soymeal production and estimates exports at 20 million mt.

If BCR's projections are realized, it would put Brazil ahead of Argentina in terms of soymeal exports.

This season Argentina has faced the worst drought in the past 60 years, leading to an estimated soybean crop of 25 million mt or lower, the lowest in the past 23 years.

At the same time, the country's soybean crush is expected to amount to just 28 million mt in 2022/23, the smallest volume since 2004 and below the levels of 2008/09, 2011/12 and 2017/18, when Argentina also faced severe drought.

Brazil is meanwhile expected to harvest its biggest soybean crop in history this season, with the USDA estimating production at 153 million mt and Conab putting the figure at 151.4 million mt.

USDA projects Brazil's soybean crush to reach 52.7 million mt in 2022/33, the same level as Conab.