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ECONOMY | 13-01-2021 12:27

Government removes maize-export cap, says it will ‘monitor supplies’

Alberto Fernández administration U-turns on decision to slap export limits on maize exports, agreeing with producers to instead set up new monitoring system.

The government has reversed its decision to set a limit on corn exports to guarantee domestic supplies and pledged instead to monitor supplies more closely.

The decision was confirmed by the Agriculture, Fisheries & Livestock Ministry in a statement Tuesday. 

Government officials will hope the move will lower tensions with the powerful agricultural sector, with producers currently engaged in the final day of a 72-hour strike over an initial move to block the selling of maize until March 1. Farmers were not happy with the measure, saying it would hurt their profitability.

Seeking to calm the unrest, the Alberto Fernández administration said Monday it would remove the total block on sales but limit exports to 30,000 tons a day. Though that move was welcomed, farming groups said it was “insufficient” and that strike action would continue. 

This latest U-turn was agreed during talks with producers’ groups, with both sides agreeing to set up a monitoring system to establish a decent balance between domestic supply and availability for export.

"It is a priority for the national government to decouple domestic prices from the dynamics of international prices, while we can continue to strengthen the development of the sector and exports," said Agriculture, Fisheries & Livestock Minister Luis Basterra.

 

– TIMES/AFP/BLOOMBERG

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