(Photo: IMF representative Roberto Cardarelli eared from SRA chairman Daniel Pelegrina the warning about this issue)

Buenos Aires, May 15th. As soybean global prices are plunging, Argentine farmers ask the Government to reduce the export taxes. Since September 2018, the Government imposed a fix 18% export tax plus AR$4 per dollar, which implies around 29% of the soybean FOB price. During the third government of Kirchnerism (2011/2015) the soybean FOB price rounded 500 dollars per ton with a 35% export tax; Now, with FOB prices around US$300, the export tax rate implies that farmers receive just 210 dollars per ton.

With soybean prices at the lowest level in the last twelve years, Dardo Chiesa, chairman of Argentine Rural Confederations (CRA) said that it’s time to discuss the export taxes to soybean. Carlos Achetoni, chairman of Argentine Agrarian Federation (FAA) that represents small and medium farmers, manifested him “worried” with a net price around 200 dollars per ton, and he proposed to discuss the rate of the export tax with the Government.

Meanwhile, Nestor Roulet, a CRA referent in the Cordoba province, said that farmers who lease farms 300 kilometers away from the Rosario port are losing money and that they need to harvest more than 4,000 kilograms per hectare to have a positive profit.

But probably, the most worrying warning came from the Argentine Rural Society (SRA), the elite farmers union where AgroIndustry secretary Luis Miguel Etchevehere comes from. Today, SRA chairman, Mr. Daniel Pelegrina met IMF representative for Latin America Roberto Cardarelli, and he warned him that farmers are worried about the impact of the export taxes over the farm business.

Export taxes are double trouble for the Government. During the presidential campaign, they promised the elimination of these levies, gaining the support of the farmers. But now Government had to re-impose them based on the necessity to close the fiscal deficit, just when grains prices are at a low level.

But even the chairman of the oilseed crushing industry, Gustavo Idigoras, supported the claiming to reduce the soybean export taxes. “The US$290 soybean price is incompatible with this export tax rate”, he said.

A few weeks ago, the Government celebrated a new Argentine record harvest, with 56 million metric tons of soybean. But now, it is estimated that the prices fall will represent US$3 billion less for the country. “Low prices are offsetting the record harvest”, Idigoras marked.