Argentina Seizes Over 17 Tonnes of Soybeans That Were to be Smuggled to Brazil

Argentine naval authorities announced on Monday the seizure of more than 17,000 kilograms of soybeans that were to be smuggled to Brazil, where soy is in high demand.

Argentina Brazil SoybeanThe Prefectura Naval Argentina seized the soybean cargo after detecting loading and unloading movements of goods on the Uruguay River. (Photo: Ministerio de Seguridad de Argentina, License)Land patrols of the Prefectura Naval Argentina discovered cargo movements in El Soberbio city, in the coastal area of the Uruguay River. They found 335 burlap bags containing 51 kilos of soybeans each as they were being moved from two trucks to three vessels.

The shipment, valued at more than four million Argentine pesos (nearly US$11,500), was seized along with one of the trucks and two of the vessels. Authorities detained one suspect who was involved in another smuggling case and placed another under investigation.

El Soberbio, in the Misiones Province, has in recent years become a hub for the transport of contraband soy to Brazil, a country that is working to keep its dominance of the soybean market.

“Since June 2019, soybean prices have consistently climbed in Brazil, with prices skyrocketing in late 2020 and early 2021. Matched with the plummeting value of the Brazilian real and seemingly insatiable demand from overseas, Brazil has spent the past two years pumping more and more soy into for foreign markets,” reported InSight Crime.

“Social relations are marked by the amount of money left by each of the hundreds of trucks that arrive daily. It is said that there are around 100 of them and that they cross to Brazil in search of the price without retentions (33% in the case of soybean) and the dollar at free price, 170 pesos at the closing of this article,” stated La Nación in a 2021 investigation.

At the beginning of September, a total of 180 tonnes of soybeans were seized in the city of Córdoba, destined for the Misiones Province, valued at more than $100,000. Only two weeks ago, more than 15,000 kilograms of soybeans were found in two abandoned trucks in El Soberbio.