(Photo: President Macri (centre) visited Renova oilseed factory in Timbúes)

February 27th. This Wednesday, President Mauricio Macri visited the largest world soybean crushing factory, Renova (30,000 tons per day), placed in Timbues (Santa Fe Province), a few miles North to Rosario City. Then, he headed the Soybean National Table meeting, when he listened to the claims of the representatives of the major export complex in Argentina.

Basically, the dialogue was focused on the situation of the soybean crushing industry. Last year and due to the lack of raw material, soybean crushing dropped to 36.8 million metric tons, far away to 44.5 MMT crushed in 2016. Furthermore, the local industry imported more than 6MMT of soybean from Paraguay and the US, expending 2.5 billion dollars to avoid a major unused capacity. It is believed that this year unused capacity could reach 46 percent.

But this is not the only problem. Last year, Macri’s administration decided to eliminate the gap between the soybean and its byproducts export taxes. During decades, the crushing industry enjoyed a 3 percentage points differential export tax. Thus, in the last quarter of 2018 soybean exports grown in respect of the last years. Between October and December 2018 exporters shipped 2,2 MMT of soybean versus 0.7 MMT in the same period of 2017.

From the soybean crushing industry, they say that the elimination of the export tax gap not only harm the industry but the farmers too.

President Macri paid attention to the arguments, brings by the chairman of the Oilseed Industry Chamber, Gustavo Idigoras, and the chairman of Acsoja, the soybean chain organization, Luis Zubizarreta. They said that Fiscal administration would lost to collect around US$700 million without this gap, because it foments the export of the raw material (the bean) against the add value byproducts.

“It was a very positive audience”, told spokesperson from the crushing industry to www.eFarmNewsAr.com. “The President paid special attention to our arguments and told the Production Minister, Dante Sica, meet the Economy Minister (Nicolás Dujovne) and analyze the case. We expect that finally the same gap that is applied to the rest of the industry, be applied to us”, the source said. Currently, Government disposed that when a raw material is exported it is paid $4 per dollar exported, and it is paid $3 when an industrial good is exported. Then, the soybean industry is asking to apply the same criteria.