(Photo: Fernando Rivara heads the National Grain Storage Association)

Buenos Aires, October 8th. The Presidente of the Grain Storage Association and also chairman of Rivara SA, Fernando Rivara, criticized the Government’s decision to re-impose export duties. “Currently, we are paying US$52 per ton of corn flour exported. We passed to gain US$25 per tonne to lose US$5 after the reimpose of export taxes”, Mr. Rivara said, interviewed by radio program “Cosechas y Negocios”.

In late August, President Macri’s Administration decided to impose an export tax of AR$4 per dollar exported to raw materials, and AR$3 per dollar exported to industrialized products. This means around a 10% rate depending on the currency value. But in the Fiscal Budget 2019 draft, sent to the Congress, the Government ask permission to the congressmen to raise the export duties until 33%. “This is madness”, Rivara exploits. “This meaning that Government does not have idea what will happen with the economy in the next three or four months. This is absolutely insane”, affirm.

In the previous days, Jujuy’s Province Governor, Gerardo Morales, an allied of President Macri, said: “We were short; we should have imposed an AR$8 per dollar of export duties”. This affirmation provoked the automatic reaction of farmers association, like Rural Confederation (CRA): “Stop to discuss raising export taxes, please”, the chairman of the Confederation said in a press release.

Furthermore to the grain storage activity, Rivara SA is one of the leading corn millings in Argentina. They process non-GMO corn to elaborate foods like corn flour, known as “polenta” in the local market.

“We are facing some troubles. For example, we are paying the corn to farmers ten days after we purchase: we industrialized the corn into food, and we sell the products to the local market. But we catch the money 90 days later; this is impossible to sustain. We are reducing the level of our operation”, Rivara confessed in dialogue with “Cosechas y Negocios”.

Data provided by the Statistics and Census National Institute (INDEC) shows that during 2018 corn flour export plunged. Between January to August, export reached 4,081 tons versus 9,833 in 2017.

“The Government is committing the same mistake that former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. We hope congressmen don’t authorize a 33% of export taxes”, Rivara concludes.