Sugar mills against Refinería Argentina. New technologies, sectorial changes and business reorganization (1914-1935)


  • Daniel Moyano Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET-Argentina)/Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (Argentina)



Sugar, corporate strategies, technologies, Argentina


This paper analyzes the restructuring process of the Argentine sugar sector between 1914 and 1935. It studies the dispute between Refinería Argentina S.A., the largest sugar refinery, and the northern sugar mills to position themselves in the domestic market. It follows the incidence of technification in the development of new quality products and the strategies of the competitors that ended up modifying the structure of the sugar supply at the beginning of the 20th century. As an alternative to the dominant interpretation, which categorized the Refinería as an oversized modern company with state-of-the-art technology in a peripheral and limited market -the reason for its closure in 1932-, two possible explanations are proposed: a) the
competition of the sugar mills with substitute products reduced the market previously covered
by the Refinería; b) its closure was part of a strategy of readjustment of the business group that controlled this company to the new productive and commercial characteristics acquired by the sector.

Author Biography

Daniel Moyano, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET-Argentina)/Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (Argentina)

Doctor en Humanidades (Área Historia) por la Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. Licenciado en Historia por la misma casa de altos estudios. Actualmente reviste como Investigador Asistente de la Carrera de Investigador Científico y Tecnológico del CONICET -Argentina-, con sede en el Instituto Superior de Estudios Sociales (CCT-Tucumán).