Argentine farmers exported more than 300 million dollars worth of grains and oilseeds in the last two days of 2014 to help bring in much needed cash for the nation’s central bank. The situation was boosted by an agreement reached between farmers and the Argentine government regarding foreign currency payment for the grains and oilseed.
Farmers sold 365 million for a total of 24.1 billion dollars of grains and oilseed last year to boost Argentina's central bank reserves, which had slid to a seven-year low in October, exporter group Ciara-Cec said in a statement. The previous record for such exports was 25.1 billion in 2011.
Fourth-quarter sales helped stabilize the economy in Argentina, which gets about one-third of its export revenue from commodities. President Cristina Fernandez government persuaded farmers on Oct. 22 to stop hoarding the harvest and sell to replenish reserves.
Argentina’s reserves, which plunged 37% to 27.3 billion before the accord between government and exporters, were 31.4 billion at year- end, according to central bank data.
“The sizable 2014 harvest, as much as the measures taken by the government during the first half of 2014, were critical to stabilize the economy,” Sebastian Vargas, an economist at Barclays Plc, said.
Argentina, the world’s largest soybean oil and derivatives exporter, harvested a record soybean crop of 53.4 million metric tons last year, exceeding the prior record of 52.7 million in 2010, according to data compiled by the Agriculture Ministry. Corn is the country’s second most exported crop.
Farmers had been holding on to about 4 billion dollars of soybeans, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said in a January 2014 radio interview. Hoarding was estimated at 3 billion in August and September by Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich.