Argentina Sees Vast Potential for Agriculture

ARGENTINA - Jorge Correa, Head of Rabobank’s Representative Office in Buenos Aires, is happy to talk about the Food & Agri opportunities for Rabobank in Argentina.
calendar icon 8 September 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

“Argentina is a vast country, rich in natural resources, blessed with good soil and excellent weather,” says Mr Correa. Twenty per cent of GDP is agriculture related, making the agricultural sector in Argentina important not just for Rabobank, but for the world economy. “As the land available for agricultural production around the world becomes increasingly scarce, yield will be key to maintaining food supplies in the future. And few agricultural economies can compete with the yields obtained by Argentinean farmers.”

Rabobank does not have a banking licence in Argentina, but does have a team of twenty-eight staff in its Representative Office in Buenos Aires. “Ninety per cent of our portfolio is Food and Agribusiness, providing trade and commodity finance services to large primary producers, processors and exporters involved in grains and oilseeds.” And when Jorge Correa says ’large’, he’s referring to farms ranging from 100,000 to 1 million hectares.

While Food and Agribusiness and Trade and Commodity finance account for the lion’s share of business, Rabobank is also increasing its participation in the growing renewable energy sector in Argentina, mainly in the biodiesel and bioethanol sectors.

Argentina, Brazil and the US account for 80 per cent of world soybean production. Jorge Correa: “As the world’s largest exporter of soy meals and soy oil Argentina plays a key role in supplying the increasing demand for soy proteins. Soy oil is the second most consumed vegetable oil in the world after palm oil. And soy meal is the best and the largest ingredient in protein contents used in the animal feed industry.”

In the August 2010 update on Agricultural Commodities Rabobank analysts state that soybean demand from China is almost insatiable, despite record soybean production this year in both the U.S and South America. Jorge Correa: “The total value of the soy industry was estimated at USD 110 billion in 2009, divided across soy oil (33 per cent) and soy meals (67 per cent). And there’s still plenty of room for growth.”

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