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Argentine soybean sales spike after new exchange rate

·1 min read

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Argentine farmers sold a total of 2.13 million tonnes of soybeans on Monday and Tuesday, surpassing in just two days the 667,000 tonnes sold last week after the government established a preferential exchange rate for soybean exports, the Rosario Stock Exchange said Wednesday.

The sharp increase in sales comes after Economy Minister Sergio Massa's announcement on Sunday that set the exchange rate for soybean producers at 200 pesos per dollar, which is above the official 140 pesos per dollar rate.

Up until last week, Argentine producers had been selling their product at a significantly lower rate than last year, holding off sales amid increasing economic uncertainty in Argentina.

Soybeans, along with their oil and flour derivatives, are Argentina's most important source of foreign exchange.

Until Aug. 31, before the exchange rate announcement, producers had sold 52.3% of the 44 million tonnes of soybeans harvested during the 2021/22 season. The figure is down from the 62.8% sold at the same date last year, when production stood at 46 million tonnes, according to official data.

Argentine authorities aim to boost activity with the new exchange rate.

In 2021, exports of soybeans totaled $21.5 billion.

Exports from the Argentine soybean complex are fundamental to Argentina's economy, especially at a time of low foreign exchange reserves and rising inflation.

In addition to the inflationary and reserve crisis, the government of President Alberto Fernandez has to comply with the terms of a $44 billion agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (Reporting by Maximilian Heath in Buenos Aires Writing by Valentine Hilaire Editing by Matthew Lewis)