Paraguay’s soybean shipments decline 7.3% y-o-y in Jan-May: Central Bank

10 Jun 2021 | Juan Pedro Tomas

Paraguay exported a total of 2.97 million mt of soybeans in the first five months of 2021, down 7.3% compared with the 3.3 million mt registered in the same period of 2020, the latest data from the country’s central bank shows.

Exports to Argentina, Paraguay’s largest soybean importer, amounted to 2.16 million mt in the January-May period, down 19.5% year-on-year and representing 72.9% of Paraguay’s total soybean exports in the period.

Meanwhile, Brazil acquired a total of 332,500 mt, up 41.2% from the 235,400 mt in the first five months of 2020 and accounting for 11.2% of total soybean exports.

Paraguay had exported a total of 6.62 million mt of soybeans last year, up 35% compared with the 4.90 million mt registered in 2019.

Soyoil exports totaled 172,800 mt in the January-May period, down 14% from the 201,000 mt exported in the same period of 2020, while soymeal exports grew 2.1% to 639,700 mt over the period.

Daniel Hidalgo, head of BCP’s foreign trade department, told Agricensus, that soybean exports this year are forecast to reach 6.1 million mt, down 7.8% compared to the previous year.

“This reduction in grain shipments was due to drought problems that were experienced at the end of 2020 and reduced yields for this 2021,” Hidalgo said.

The official said that exports to Argentina are expected to represent nearly 75% of the country’s overall soybean exports this year.

According to its latest update, the USDA expects Paraguay’s soybean exports in 2020/21 to reach 6.6 million mt and soybean production to reach 9.90 million mt in the current crop cycle, down compared to 10.1 million mt in the 2019/20 cycle.

The USDA also forecasts exports of 2.05 million mt of soymeal and 620,000 mt of soyoil in the 2020/21 crop cycle.

For the 2021/22 cycle, the US agency expects a soybean production of 10.5 million mt while exports are forecast to reach 6.5 million mt.

Last year, Paraguayan exporters faced severe logistics issues as they tried to ship soybeans via the Parana River amid some of the lowest water levels ever recorded.

Low water levels continue to affect Paraguay’s soybean shipments during 2021, with the next window of opportunity for Paraguayan barges expected for September.