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Argentine grain exporters sold $4.2 bln in May, setting new record

·1 min read

BUENOS AIRES, June 1 (Reuters) - Argentina's grain industry sold $4.2 billion in May, the best month since monthly records started, the Argentine Chamber of the Oil Industry (CIARA) and the Grain Exporters Center (CEC) said in a report on Wednesday.

On a month-on-month basis, the exports increased 33%, and the country's foreign exchange income from agro-exports in the first five months of the year totaled $15.3 billion, the report said.

In a statement, the institutions said grain exports have been affected by the sharp movements in the international market, government-set export caps, and by a "huge idle capacity" of the soybean crushing industry.

Soybean meal is the country's main export product, representing 14.2% of the total exported. It is an industrialized by-product generated by this agro-industrial complex, which currently has a high idle capacity close to 50%.

The oilseed-grain complex, including biodiesel and its derivatives, accounted for 48% of Argentina's total exports last year.

(Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Aurora Ellis)