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Economy & Business - March 2020

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS

ARGENTINA| Agricultural tariffs cause tensions. Argentina’s ministry of livestock, agriculture & fisheries announced on 3 March that it would be bumping up taxes on soya exports from 30% to 33%. Tariffs on soya, soya flour and soya beans had already been raised from 24.5% when President Alberto Fernández took office in December 2019. Agriculture Minister Luis Basterra met with representatives from the Mesa de Enlace grouping of farmers unions to announce the increase in tariffs and highlight concessions made in the form of lower tariffs for smaller producers, ranging from 30% for farmers whose crop came in at below 1,000 tonnes (t) but above 500t last season, to 20% for farmers harvesting under 100t; and decreases in taxes on exports of some types of regional produce, such as sunflowers. Basterra also assured that the state would not benefit from the extra tax revenue but use it to compensate smaller producers. Unions have not been convinced, and on 5 March, the Confederaciones Rurales Argentinas (CRA) announced that it would be going on strike for four days, withholding grain sales. Fellow members of the Mesa de Enlace – Sociedad Rural Argentina, Federación Agraria Argentina, and Coninagro – subsequently joined CRA’s strike action.

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