South America’s wheat import demand has been relatively flat over the last five years, likely because of crop shortfalls in Argentina. That should help U.S. efforts to export wheat to the region.
USDA says Argentina has traditionally covered much of the region’s import needs because of its logistical and freight advantages, along with preferential market access. It typically supplies 50% of the region’s imports and between 75% and 95% of Brazil’s import needs, the largest South American importer. However, Argentina is not expected to be a reliable supplier this year because of its smaller crop and drastically lower exportable supplies.
That shortage is creating opportunities for both the U.S. and Canada. However, with a smaller crop and reduced supplies, Canada will not be in a position to take full advantage of this market opportunity. That leaves the U.S. in the best position to fill South America’s import needs vacated by Argentina.
It should also be noted that Argentina’s tight exportable supplies will leave other markets short, particularly in Africa, providing opportunities for other exporters, as well.