Post marginally lowers its soybean production area estimate to 20.8 million hectares. The 2014/15 crop is virtually 100 percent planted, and producers increased area this year but slightly less than analysts had initially speculated. Post maintains its production estimate at 57 million metric tons (mmt). December and January brought excellent precipitation patterns for most of Argentina's soybean producing provinces, which should lead to better-than-anticipated yields which will handily offset the reduction in Post's estimated planted area.

Producers and most agricultural input companies continue to state that they are operating in survival mode for 2014/15. Agricultural production input investments are minimal. Data on fertilizer use in soybean production, for example, indicates stagnation—and even decreased use—over the past three years. Yields have subsequently stagnated. One sector that should see growth is herbicides, as most producers cannot farm without them. Recent studies report that herbicide costs can now account for as much as 40 percent of overall production costs. The current survival policies may be necessary for producers with limited access to capital, but the policies will lead to increased production costs for the upcoming 2-3 years, when soil remediation will be necessary.

Post's estimated 2014/15 exports are at 10 mmt, in line with 2013/14 exports. In 2014, the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture reported that soybean complex exports grew 17 percent year on year. Soy exports served to prop up Argentina's otherwise diminishing agricultural export sector, which as a whole fell four percent by volume in 2014. Moving forward in 2015, commodity prices and what many in the market would view as an overvalued peso will render Argentine soybean exports less competitive on the global scale.

Post estimates 2014/15 crush at 41 mmt. According to the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture, a total of 37.9 mmt of soybeans were crushed in 2014, a record and 1.6 percent higher than the last crushing record, which was achieved in 2011.

Oilseed, Soybean (Local)

2012/2013

2013/2014

2014/2015

Market Begin Year

Apr 2012

Apr 2013

Apr 2014

Argentina

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

Area Planted

19,400

19,400

19,800

20,300

20,000

20,800

Area Harvested

19,400

19,400

19,800

20,030

20,000

20,800

Beginning Stocks

4,639

5,717

8,620

8,200

15,680

10,200

Production

49,300

49,300

54,000

54,000

55,000

57,000

MY Imports

2

2

1

0

1

0

MY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

MY Imp. from EU

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

53,941

55,019

62,621

62,200

70,681

67,200

MY Exports

7,817

8,400

7,721

10,000

8,300

10,000

MY Exp. to EU

50

50

50

0

50

0

Crush

35,004

36,750

36,220

40,000

39,850

41,000

Food Use Dom. Cons.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Feed Waste Dom. Cons.

2,500

1,669

3,000

2,000

3,100

2,000

Total Dom. Cons.

37,504

38,419

39,220

42,000

42,950

43,000

Ending Stocks

8,620

8,200

15,680

10,200

19,431

14,200

Total Distribution

53,941

55,019

62,621

62,200

70,681

67,200

1000 HA, 1000 MT