The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is providing a US$30mn loan to SA San Miguel AGICI y F, the leading lemon producer in Argentina. The loan is to support San Miguel’s overall plantation and industrial operations and to finance permanent working capital as well as a sophisticated industrial waste treatment system.


San Miguel produces lemons on its 5,500 hectares of agricultural land in the province of Tucumn. From its own production, as well as that of third parties, San Miguel exports over 120,000 tons of lemons, 35% of Argentina’s lemon exports, and a further 30,000 tons of oranges, including mandarins, through a subsidiary in Uruguay. The company also processes over 220,000 tons of fruit to produce frozen lemon juice concentrate, essential oil, and dried peel ay its state-of-the-art plant in Famailla, Tucumn.


IFC long-term financing consists of US$20mn for its own account and a syndicated loan of US$10mn. IFC is pleased to collaborate on this transaction with Rabobank International, who has fully subscribed the syndicated loan.


Atul Mehta, IFC’s director for Latin America, says,”The agro-industrial sector has been and continues to be a key sector for the Argentine economy’s recovery, and we are pleased to have provided support directly and to have mobilized funding for this sector throughout the crisis.”


IFC’s director for agribusiness, Jean-Paul Pinard, adds,”Argentine exporting companies are competing on a global basis. IFC is pleased to provide reliable access to long-term financing to its clients in the country and allow them to keep up with international competition. San Miguel is a leading player in the lemon industry, a sector where Argentina has a competitive advantage, and which IFC is therefore keen to support.”


Since the start of the financial crisis in Argentina, IFC has played an essential role by supporting its clients in the private sector. IFC remained engaged in the country throughout the crisis, providing nearly US$400mn in financing from June 2002 to date.