June 10, 2019
OPEC of soy
Soy is the agricultural commodity that exhibited the highest growth rate in the last three decades. The expansion accelerated markedly in the last decade: in 2010, world production was just over 200 million tons. Today is arriving at 400.

By Hérctor Huergo. Publicated in

The fastest growth rate occurs in South America. Ten years ago, Brazil and Argentina, together, reached the United States. There were practically no other players, from the supply side, while the demand grew to the jumps in particular in the emerging countries. In particular, China, which became a true soy vacuum cleaner.

The dietary transition, from a diet rich in starch and vegetables to a greater propensity to consume animal proteins, motorized the phenomenon, typical of societies that improve their purchasing power. Soy flour is a fundamental component of the food consumed by every bug that walks and goes to the spit.

And the oil follows the same trend: remember the Kentucky Fried Chicken (fried chicken) of Tiananmen Square, the first fast food franchise of a US company in China. Recently installed, in 1989, it was the Vieytes Jabonería of young people who rebelled against the regime exactly thirty years ago. In addition, the meat always comes with fries.

Thus, China expresses practically half of the world demand for soy. But everyone needs it, from the old European consumers, who made the dietary transition ten thousand years ago and painted it in the Caves of Altamira. The cave paintings show bulls.

The path of soybean made Argentina find an extraordinary opportunity. It was squandered by the inexperience K, entertained in other cares. But the weed pressed against the ground to hold the pampero, and there it is, alive and kicking. In silence, the largest crushing capacity in the world was built, with mega state-of-the-art plants that process 20,000 tons per day (800 trucks) and put the country at the forefront of world oil and flour. The United States and Brazil export mainly unprocessed beans.

Just as at the end of the 19th century the demand for bovine meat from Dickens' England motorized the first Pampas Revolution, the demand for animal proteins activated the Second, which we have the privilege of starring. And the duty to alert, because the opponents also play.

These days, some economists returned to play an old idea that fifteen years ago, the Brazilian Roberto Rodrígues (a factotum of the agroindustrial public policy since the era of Fernando Henrique Cardoso) and the great Argentinean producer and thinker Gustavo Grobocopatel: OPEC of soy.

Taking the experience of the oil countries, led by the Arab world, the intention was to manage the offer in order to "defend" prices. The idea came when soybean was worth less than $ 200 per ton. It was forgotten when the market, alone, took it to 600 in three or four years.

Now, around 300, someone has put it back on the table. The proposal is to coordinate with Brazil to control the offer, in order to raise prices. In my opinion, it is a reckless proposal.
OPEC surprised the world in the 1970s with no possibility of replacing oil. But the West immediately took care to find a way out of the stocks. At the end of the day, the emboldening served to accelerate the end of the reign. Alternative energy sources were developed, from renewables to the vigorous shale process.

With soy, the joke can cost much more expensive. Watch out. To be continue…

Automatic translation from spanish.

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