Argentine clustering of soy biodiesel production: The role of international networks and the global soy oil and meal markets

TitleArgentine clustering of soy biodiesel production: The role of international networks and the global soy oil and meal markets
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsTomei, J, Upham, P
JournalOpen Geography Journal
Volume4
Start Page45
Pagination45-54
ISBN Number18749232
KeywordsAgroindustry, Argentina, Clustering, Production networks, Soy-based biodiesel
Abstract

Argentina aspires to become the global equivalent of Brazil for biodiesel and is well placed to do so. With a large, efficient and export-focused agricultural sector, Argentina is the world's third largest exporter of soy and sunflower oils. Growing global demand and, to a far lesser extent, domestic demand for biofuels is contributing to the expansion of soy production and processing in Argentina, much of which is centred around the Paraná River. The Argentine biofuels sector exhibits clustering at both the cultivation and processing levels, but is also strongly dependent on other relationships both nationally and internationally, including research and development linkages with international biotechnology firms and the more economically significant soy oil and meal markets. Although the trend of horizontal and vertical integration is advanced and likely to continue, we argue that clustering, in the sense of geographic proximity, needs to be seen in the context of the value chain. To date, governance of the soy industry has been characterised by declining government intervention in production, processing and export processes. In the absence of strong policy, it has been left to agroindustry to determine the development of the nascent biofuels sector, towards one focused primarily on the export market and leading to substantial gains for some actors in the value chain and losses for weaker players. © Tomei and Upham.