Agri-inputs for soybeans and corn became cheaper in Argentina in 2020
Apr. 9, 2021
By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
The Córdoba Cereal Exchange (BCCBA) has analyzed that agri-inputs in Argentina have become cheaper for soybeans and corn, and more expensive for wheat.
The survey of the Cordovan entity highlights the fact that the increase in the price of soybeans and corn was greater than the increase in the cost of inputs in dollars, allowing a better input/output ratio for both.
“In the comparison with February 2020, the improvements are around 26% and 20% respectively,” they revealed. What they cite is that the higher global demand for grains, especially from China, had a strong impact on prices, and the decline in stocks allowed them to remain high.
The increase in imports of inputs required by the agricultural sector during 2020 is noteworthy. On the other hand, the BCCBA observed a gradual decrease in glyphosate imports, going from an amount of 14,600 tons in 2013 to purchases of 200 tons during 2020. This decline occurred gradually and intensified in 2015 and 2018.
In this context, the purchasing power of corn and soybeans increased, making itself felt in the amount of production necessary to acquire the same basket of inputs. On the other hand, a few months after starting the wheat planting, the cereal input-product ratio was damaged, especially in February due to the increase in the value of various inputs.
Soybeans benefited the most, with an increase in average purchasing power of 26%. While 130.7 kilos of soybeans were required in February 2020 to acquire 100 liters of glyphosate, currently 100 kilos are needed, that is, 27% less.
In the same way, the relative cost of other inputs also fell for oilseed, diesel being the most notable case, with a 32% reduction in its relative price, followed by freight, seeds and phosphate, with a decrease of 29%, 27% and 12.5% respectively.
In the case of corn, atrazine, glyphosate and seed improved their ratio and 28% less grain is required for their acquisition. The increase in the price of inputs such as mono-ammonium phosphate and urea was high but lower than the increase in the price of corn, so their ratio improved by 7% and 4% respectively.
The analysis shows that fertilizers have become cheaper compared to soybeans and corn, providing an opportunity to improve the sustainability of the crops through a greater application of these. Among them, urea stands out, with an increase of 24% in February compared to the previous month, and 34% compared to the previous year. Likewise, phosphate presented an increase of 18% compared to January 2021 and 30% compared to February 2020.
On the import side, the most notable difference was in diammonium phosphate, whose purchases abroad increased by 205%, going from 109,000 tons in 2019 to 332,000 tons the following year. Considering the sum of both phosphates, the increase would be around 41%. In the case of urea, purchases abroad increased by 225,000 tons, coming mainly from Egypt and importing a total of 1.1 million tons in 2020.
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