Argentina lifts limit of 30,000 tons for corn exports: official

Corn plants are seen in a field in Chivilcoy, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

© Reuters / Agustin Marcarian
Corn plants are seen in a field in Chivilcoy, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

By Maximilian Heath and Walter Bianchi

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 12 (Reuters) – The Argentine government said on Tuesday that it decided to replace the limit of 30,000 tons per day for corn exports with a monitoring of the exportable balance to reach the harvest junction without tension, with the commitment of the private sector.

The measure was announced after a meeting of the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Luis Basterra, with representatives of the intersectoral table of corn.

“As we committed ourselves, these meetings allow us to continue advancing in making private interests compatible with the state’s need to guarantee essential goods throughout the national territory,” said Basterra.

Argentina, the third largest corn exporter in the world, on December 30 had temporarily suspended the registration of new corn exports with a shipment date until February to guarantee the domestic supply of the cereal, although this week it lifted the suspension given the unrest it generated among the producers, who on the same day began a commercial strike.

According to official data, between January and November 2020 Argentina exported 36 million tons of corn for a total of 5,843 million dollars.

The Peronist Alberto Fernández government has tried to restrict corn exports, but his proposals drew strong criticism from farmers and exporters who said such restrictions weigh on investment and productivity.

“From the private sector we have set up an intersectoral maize table, with the representation of more than 32 entities in the sector, with whom we are going to work with the commitment to find tools that allow us to decouple the good time we are going through in terms of international prices, which is positive because it generates foreign exchange, but we are also aware that this impacts internal prices “, said José Martins of the Argentine Agroindustrial Council (CAA).

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After the meeting, a long-term agreement was also reached with the corn consumer and supplier sectors, in tune with the so-called National Care Prices Program, the ministry statement said.

In the 2018/19 season, the volume of corn operations officially registered to ship in the first two months of 2020 was 2.77 million tons.

(Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Maximilian Heath)

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