Hello how are you? I hope that well, like me, that I am calmer after the government’s reversal with the closure of the corn export registry. In any case, the air was loaded with a sulfur whiff, like every time the devil sticks his tail. Hopefully we continue to seek solutions within a climate of good sense, because it is what is in the best interest of all of society.
We need dollars, we need activity, we need competitive businesses that do not require subsidies or have a negative trade balance. We need agribusiness. And a good part of what we need is being given. Surprise! When everyone predicted a dry summer, it started to rain. The early corn paid the toll of the lack of water, but there is relief for the first class soybeans, it was possible to finish planting the second class, and also the late corn. So we have a harvest.
And above, we have a price. And in this I want to stop. Not only to insist that the best thing that can happen to the country in this critical instance is to have good agricultural prices. “P x Q” (price x quantity) is the equation that economists look at. Well the PxQ this year promises 5 billion dollars more in exports than 2020. The futures markets indicate that prices will begin to decline when, next October, the North American harvest enters.
In the interim, we will have sold all the wheat, most of the corn and soybeans, taking advantage of the window that was opened now, when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises that the corn harvest of the corn belt will be 7 million tons lower than expected, and that Brazil will not have as much soy or corn as expected.
In China they are rebuilding their pig herds that were devastated by African swine fever.
Meanwhile, the Chinese are no longer just sweeping away all available soybeans, but advancing on corn. They are rapidly rebuilding their pig herds, decimated by African swine fever, and cannot restrain the carnivorous appetite of their people. Mondo meat.
And here is the interesting thing about the “momentum”. The stampede in agricultural prices is basically concentrated in the two most dynamic sectors of the 21st century: fodder grains and soybeans. Both are used to feed every bug that walks and ends up on the grill. A fact to take into account, in the face of the vegan onslaught, which established a vigorous background trend. However, when going to the papers, it seems that the aspirational of animal proteins has even more force.
We are clearly at a crossroads. It is a fundamental fact for Argentina, which by history and structure specialized in providing basic inputs for animal feed (corn and soybeans). If the world turns to veganism, bye wet pampa. But in light of the markets, it seems that most of humanity is transitioning from plant to animal. And the reverse trend, which seems inexorable in the long run, will take longer. It’s an exciting subject and it’s okay for everyone to be on the lookout.
The big animal protein companies have taken a position against the vegan onslaught. Marfrig, the world’s number one in hamburgers, which reigns in Argentina with the Paty brand, entered into an agreement with the North American multinational ADM to supply the critical components of a vegetable medallion. ADM specialized in textured soybeans, isolated protein and other derivatives of this manna that every day gains more space in the gondolas.
Veggie burgers are a trend in the United States and reached the Asian market.
Impossible Food and Beyond Meat they dispute the leadership of the veggie burgers. There are startups all over the world. In Argentina, Cesar Belloso, former president of Aapresid, a couple of months ago delighted us with his pea burgers.
And there the laboratory meat, where you don’t even need plants. Pure science, with a product that possibly divides waters between “naturalists” and morphons of whatever there is. The former have already said that laboratory meat has all of Dimitri Mendeleieff’s periodic table of elements. But it has already reached the gondolas in Israel, and there are also ventures everywhere. Costs are coming down, of course.
Some get nervous, but there is room for everyone. Moreover, it does not seem sustainable that 1.4 billion Chinese reach levels of meat consumption similar to those of South American countries, where the tradition of the gaucho who killed a cow to eat the back and sell the leather weighs. The rest, for the caranchos… To find the way around and give pleasure to the vegetable derivatives is to approach photosynthesis, which implies economic and environmental efficiency.
There is something for all tastes and then, there will be more competition. This is also good news: the markets will fulfill the role of guiding the consumer, who will decide according to their tastes, their knowledge and their purchasing power.
Good governments are the ones who will let this happen. Good communicators are the ones who will appeal to sound science. Good consumers will be those who know how to combine knowledge, pleasure and culture.
Yes, there is and will be more and more and for all tastes. It is the kingdom of freedom, we are close and it was not necessary to realize it. As Victor Trucco taught us.