Argentina Strike Shuts Down Ports
Thousands marched through Argentina's capital on Wednesday to protest austerity measures under President Mauricio Macri, as a nationwide strike brought the airports of the recession-plagued country to a standstill and halted work at key grains ports.
The strike, called by the country's main unions, comes as center-right leader Macri tumbles in the polls ahead of presidential elections in October, his popularity with voters hurt by high inflation, job losses and a weak peso.
The union said it had gone on strike to force change in government policy as "the economic and social situation was getting worse day-by-day and inflation was destroying the purchasing power of people's wages."
What It Means for the U.S. Farmer: Union strife in Argentina is a frequent occurrence and has the ability to disrupt agricultural exports from the country. At FBN we believe that the current strike has slowed soybean meal exports and has been a contributing factor for some of the recent U.S. support for soybean meal and soybean futures prices.
Ukraine Raises 2018/19 Export Forecast
Ukraine's grain exports have risen to 46.1 MMT so far in the 2018/19 season compared with 36.4 MMT at the same point last season.
Ukraine harvested a record 70 MMT of grain last year, up from about 61 MMT in 2017.
Ukraine had exported almost 27 MMT of corn and 14.9 MMT of wheat as of May 29.
Ukraine's corn harvest was a record 35 MMT during the 2018/19 crop year. The USDA is estimating that the country will produce a 33 MMT corn crop in the 2019/20 marketing year.
What It Means for the U.S. Farmer: At FBN we don't view the surge of Ukraine agricultural exports as a surprise. We believe that the country’s bumper corn crop combined with a strong U.S. dollar against the hryvnia, Ukraine’s local currency, has helped displace U.S. corn in the global export grids. We also think that the estimated 33 MMT 2019/20 corn crop has the ability to pose challenges to the U.S. export program in 2019/20.
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