World’s major grain supplier limits exports

Argentina is limiting exports of corn and wheat in a push to tackle domestic food inflation.

It’s a resolution that the food industry considers necessary to provide predictability. And to safeguard what Argentines need for their own consumption,” Agriculture Minister Julian Dominguez said in a statement this week, as cited by Bloomberg.

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A tractor of the Poschinger Bray'sche Gueterverwaltung company applies liquid nitrogen fertilizer to a wheat field in Irlbach near Deggendorf, Germany, April 21, 2016.
Food prices about to soar

According to a resolution published on the government’s website on Friday, the authorities plan to first calculate how much grain Argentina needs for domestic consumption, and then limit export registries that could affect these supplies.

Food inflation in the country has been soaring lately, currently amounting to roughly 51%, while the poverty rate sits at around 40%. For the past several weeks, Argentina has blocked some of its corn and wheat exports to stabilize food prices at home. According to Dominguez, the country will still be able to export 12.5 million tons of wheat and 41.6 million tons of corn.

Earlier this year, the South American nation also slashed exports of beef by 50%, but loosened those curbs last week under pressure from farmers, removing restrictions on exports to emerging markets.

Argentina is a key global supplier of beef as well as the world’s top exporter of processed soy, the second-largest exporter of corn, and a major wheat producer. This means that any change to the volume of its agriculture exports may affect global markets and food supply chains, which have already suffered amid the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in food prices rising globally.

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