Argentina ag minister says grain export taxes on way out

Buenos Aires | Reuters –– Argentina’s incoming government will abolish export taxes on corn and wheat the day after it assumes office and reduce the export tax on soy by five per cent, designated Agriculture Minister Ricardo Buryaile confirmed to the daily Clarin.

President-elect Mauricio Macri won the election last Sunday on a platform of wholesale change. He has vowed to end interventionist measures such as these taxes that have hobbled growth in Latin America’s third largest economy.

“The wheat and corn taxes will be eliminated from the first day, in line with what we promised,” Buryaile was cited as saying by Clarin.

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“The tax on soy will drop by five per cent from the start of Mauricio Macri’s term,” he added. “What we are examining is which methodology we will use.”

For years growers in the world’s No. 3 soybean exporter have been stung by a 35 per cent tax on all international shipments.

The country collects a 23 per cent export tax on wheat and a 20 per cent levy on corn shipments.

By some estimates, Argentina will have doubled wheat shipments and surpassed Russia and Brazil as a corn exporter by the end of Macri’s four-year term, as the abandonment of years-long trade restraints unleashes the full potential of the country’s vast Pampas farm belt.

Reporting for Reuters by Walter Bianchi and Sarah Marsh.

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