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ECONOMY | 17-10-2019 08:44

Agro producers export more crops for fear of incoming tax hikes

Farmers and crop exporters are accelerating exports, amid concerns that a potential next government led by Alberto Fernández will up duties on their product.

Argentine farmers and crop exporters are accelerating exports, amid concerns that the next government will raise duties on their product.

Since Alberto Fernández won the PASO primary elections on August 11, agricultural trade companies have been granted export permits for a total set of 33 million metric tons of soybeans, corn, wheat and other crops and products, including soybean flour

The figure compares with 13.4 million tons in the two months before the elections and 14.9 million in the same period last year, according to data from the Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Ministry.

Among producers and ranchers there remains speculation that Fernández will increase taxes to help Argentina's fiscal balance. Soy, oil and flour made from oilseeds currently have a 25-percent levy, while corn and wheat have a seven-percent tax.

Presidential elections are due to be held on October 27 and the new head of state would take office on December 10.

The Peronist hopeful has not indicated what approach he will adopt when in office, seeking to keep his powder dry ahead of the crucial vote. He has, however, promised to favour  exports in order to guarantee the entry of dollars.

"The electoral process has been key to the decision of the farmers to accelerate their sales," said Gustavo Idigoras, president of the CIARA (Cámara de la Industria Aceitera de la República Argentina) and CEC (Centro Exportador de Cereales) chambers. (Ciara-CEC).

A modest rebound in crop prices amid signs of a commercial truce between the United States and China also boosted the sale of farmers, he added.



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