The market is expecting a new soy dollar in July

The July futures contract for the oilseed closed at US$403 per ton yesterday, while the value for May delivery is around US$376. The price difference is down to expectations that the government will aim to speed up the inflow of foreign currency.

The local grain futures market is already assuming that the government will launch a renewed soy dollar in July, or another mechanism to speed up the entry of fresh dollars. 

It comes as drought continues to reduce soy harvest forecasts, with the liquidation of foreign currency for the first two months of the year expected to be the lowest since 2007. The expectation is evident from the values offered for July contracts, which are around US$403 per ton, while the price offered for May this year is US$376 per ton. This price premium of US$27 per ton is far above the average of the last five seasons, when the differential between May and July was around US$4.5 per ton.

May is traditionally one of the strongest months for the inflow of foreign currency from the soybean harvest. That is why the market is speculating that, after the flurry of sales by producers who need it financially, by July those who stock grain will be covered by some kind of mechanism the government may launch in order to collect fresh currency.

Meanwhile, the ruling party is far from confirming the implementation of a new Soy Dollar, yet at the same time they recognize the need to have soybean dollars as they did in 2022, more so considering that the 2023 harvest might be one of the lowest in 15 years.

In parallel, available soy from last season is also increasing its value in the local market. Yesterday, in the Rosario market, the oilseed traded at US$455 per ton, an unexpected value for this time of year, which nevertheless validated by the milling factories given the few sales producers are executing. According to official statistics, some 7.7 million tons from the previous cycle remain to be sold and only about 70,000 tons were moved last week.

Projections of future foreign currency income in 2023 from agricultural exports is US$47 billion, a setback of more than US$13 billion compared to last year. A more than considerable drop is expected not just in exporting areas such as soybeans and corn, but also for the beef and dairy sectors. The drought has complicated all government plans for 2023 and so there is speculation that following the IMF goals review in June, they will have to use some kind of tool to validate a large income of foreign currency in the second semester.

Another key issue is that primary elections will take place next August, and producers usually wait to find out the economic and political direction of the country before not only selling their grain but also plan the next farming campaign. With this in mind, the economic team led by Sergio Massa would seek to overcome this possible plateau by relaunching a new “soybean dollar” or some other kind of mechanism. In any case, the market is already confirming it, and that is reflecting on its blackboards

Originally published in / Translated by Agustín Mango.


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