Argentina’s agriculture sector protests export caps

BUENOS AIRES, July 9 (Reuters) – Argentine grain and livestock farmers protested in the city of San Nicolas in the province of Buenos Aires on Friday to complain about export taxes and limits on shipments of beef that critics say are bad for farm investments. sector.

Thousands of farmers showed up in tractors and trucks and carrying Argentina’s pale blue and white flags, for the roadside protest, which was organized by the rural associations of Buenos Aires and La Pampa , or CARBAP, to coincide with Argentina’s Independence Day holiday.

“The rally is organized to make the voice of citizens and farmers heard in favor of production support policies and to call for an end to state intervention in the market,” CARBAP said.

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The government did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Nicolas Pino, president of the Argentine Rural Society, said a lack of engagement with the powerful sector would hurt all Argentines.

“Dialogue is the only way to move the country forward,” said

Argentina is the world’s 3rd exporter of maize and the 1st supplier of livestock feed made from soybean meal used to fatten pigs and poultry from Europe to Southeast Asia.

In recent years, it has ranked 5th in the world among meat exporters, mainly to China.

Farm leaders are protesting the government’s policy of centre-left Peronist President Alberto Fernandez of cutting beef exports to control inflation which is expected to reach 50% this year.

In June, the government imposed a 30-day ban on meat exports and is flirting with raising taxes or limiting exports of wheat and maize.

Omar Barchetta, a 56-year-old crop and livestock producer, said an export cap was better than the June ban, but still caused significant damage.

“The reopening of exports was a big relief, it allowed us to plan more in advance, so there was a lot of disappointment and ultimately, financial losses (with export caps),” he said. he told Reuters on Friday. “That essentially makes raising cattle unprofitable.”

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Reporting by Hernan Nessi; written by Hugh Bronstein and Aislinn Laing; edited by Jonathan Oatis and Sandra Maler

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Lana T. Arthur