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Argentina lifts corn export ban and adopts 30,000 tonne sales cap instead

Argentina has lifted a suspension on corn exports announced in December and will opt instead for a temporary 30,000 tonne daily cap on sales abroad.

11 January 2021, at 7:51am

Reuters reports that the sales cap backs away form the more restrictive measure that had infuriated farmers in the South American grains powerhouse.

The world's number three supplier of corn announced on 30 December a two-month halt in corn exports in a bid to control domestic food prices amid a long recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agriculture ministry said in a statement in the early hours of Monday 11 January that it had struck agreements to guarantee the domestic supply of corn and cushion local prices against fluctuations in international markets, allowing it to end the full ban.

The cattle and poultry industry in Argentina uses corn to fatten chickens and cows. The government had initially hoped that by keeping more corn in the country, the cost of feeding livestock would fall, increasing domestic food supplies.

But farmers railed against the suspension last week and launched a strike, saying the full ban put downward pressure on production and forced them to temper investments.

Argentina's soy, corn, wheat and sunflower seed associations said such intervention in export markets eroded confidence and would lead to an immediate withdrawal of investments.

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