(Corrects Jan 24 story to show shipments highest since 1998,
not highest ever )
By Michael Hirtzer
Jan 24 U.S. exporters shipped the most soymeal
in nearly 16 years last week as farmers in Argentina, the top
exporter of the animal feed, hoarded soybeans amid a plunging
peso, analysts said on Friday.
The U.S. exporters loaded out 398,591 tonnes of soymeal,
primarily to Asian destinations such as South Korea, Thailand
and the Philippines. That was the biggest weekly shipment since
April 1998, when exporters loaded 433,498 tonnes, according to
U.S. Agriculture Department data.
"The peso is the reason why soymeal exports are so large -
Argentina is out of the program," said Terry Reilly, senior
commodity analyst at Futures International in Chicago. "The
shipments of nearly 400,000 tonnes are just incredible."
Argentine farmers are holding about 8.4 million tonnes of
soybeans - five times more than a year ago - as the country's
currency falls, making the beans more valuable to hold than the
peso, according to Leandro Pierbattisti, an analyst with
Argentina's grains warehousing chamber.
The tight-fisted farmers limited the supplies soy processors
in Argentina can crush and then sell in export markets, pushing
business instead to the United States.
The large U.S. exports bolstered soymeal futures at
the Chicago Board of Trade, which jumped 1.7 percent to $426.00
per short ton and notched the largest gains on Friday in the
agriculture futures complex.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by Meredith