Argentina farm exports halved in 2023 to settle at nearly $20 bln

Jan, 03, 2024 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202401

Argentine farm exports totaled about $19.7 billion in 2023, data from the country’s major oilseeds crushing and export body showed on Tuesday (Jan 2), a 51% drop from the previous year, largely because bad weather reduced agricultural output.

Argentina is a major global exporter of processed soybeans, corn and wheat, but a major drought hit its farms in 2022-2023, adding to economic weakness.

December data from industry body CIARA-CEC showed in a monthly report that companies in the sector exported a total $1.25 billion, down two thirds from the same period a year earlier.

Farm exports represent a major source of U.S. dollar reserves for the central bank and are essential to finance imports and pay down government debt.

Libertarian President Javier Milei last month sent Congress a bill proposing hiking taxes levied on soymeal and soyoil exports to 33% from their current level of 31%, days after also laying out plans to raise corn and wheat export taxes to 15% from 13%.

The head of CIARA-CEC has sharply criticized the proposed export tax hikes as “very bad news for the country’s economy” and amounting to a punishment to the its top export industries.

Still in his first month as president, Milei faces a severe economic crisis, with negative net foreign reserves, triple-digit inflation and increasing distrust of the local peso.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Barbara Lewis)

Source: Nasdaq via Reuters

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