Argentina Suspends Corn Exportation To Ensure Domestic Food Supplies

ARGENTINA has suspended sales of corn for export until February 28, the agriculture ministry said, announcing the surprise move as part of the government’s effort to ensure ample domestic food supplies.

According to Reuters, the move by the world’s No. 3 corn supplier was a sign of tightening global food supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This decision is based on the need to ensure the supply of grain for the sectors that use it as a raw material for the production of animal protein such as pork, chicken, eggs, milk and cattle, where corn represents a significant component of production costs,” the statement said.

Argentina’s government is struggling to control food price inflation and help low-income families contending with an economy shrinking during the pandemic. Buyers can still book corn from Argentina, but only for a shipping date March 1 or later.

Russia, in December, 2020 announced a grain export quota and wheat tax as President Vladimir Putin criticised rising food prices.

And major agricultural exporter Brazil has imported staples including soybeans. Chicago Board of Trade corn futures notched a 6-1/2-year high after Argentina’s announcement.

The South American grains powerhouse is also a big international soybean and wheat supplier as well as the world’s top exporter of soymeal livestock feed.

“To date, 34.23 million tonnes of corn from the 2019/20 season has been authorised for export, out of a exportable total of 38.50 million tonnes,” the statement said.

“The objective of the measure is that the remaining 4.27 million tonnes remain available for domestic consumption, in order to ensure the supply during the summer months when the supply of cereal tends to be scarce,” it added.


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