The value of Argentine agricultural exports has soared in the wake of reforms introduced by the country’s new president, according to the industry group SRA.
The dollar-denominated value of exports of 21 key agricultural commodities rose by 44% in the first three months of 2016, compared to the same time last year.
The rise in exports follows the election of Mauricio Macri, who took office December 2015, after running a pro-agriculture and pro-business campaign.
Dollar values rise
Mr Macri made a number of reforms to agricultural export policy, including the removal of export quotas; the scrapping of export taxes on wheat, corn, soymeal and soyoil exports; a cut in soybean export taxes; and the floating (and thus devaluation) of the peso.
Agricultural commodities were the fastest growing export category in the first three months of 2016, SRA said, and accounted for 51% of all exports by dollar value in the quarter, up from 37% a year earlier.
The value of wheat exports rose by 68% to $644m; barley by 58% to $296m and corn by 63% to $1.07bn.
Booming vegoil exports
Vegoil and vegoil products saw particularly robust export growth. Soyoil exports were up 72% by value, at $988m, with sunflower oil exports soaring by 225% to $143m.
Exports of biodiesel, which is Argentina is largely derived from soyoil, rose by 107% to $126m.
Exports of unprocessed soybeans, which are still taxed at 30% in a bid to encourage domestic processing, rose by 30%, to 35m tonnes.
Rising livestock sector
But soymeal exports saw a more modest gain, up just 22%, although still by far Argentina’s most valuable export, at $2.12bn.
Part of the reason for the low gains in soymeal may be increased demand from the livestock industry.
Argentina’s fresh meat exports rose by 18% to $154m and frozen meat by 14% to $105m, a change which the SRA says means Argentina is recovering markets lost under the previous regime.
The SRA believes the export policies can lead Argentina returning to its position among the top three world meat exporters within five years, with the generation of 300 thousand new jobs in the next decade.
The data cited by SRA comes from Argentina’s National statistics institute Indec, which was widely accused of manipulating statistics under political pressure during the previous administration.
The latest SRA report is quick to highlight the failings of the previous Kirchner administration in Argentina.
(Source – http://www.agrimoney.com/news/argentine-ag-exports-boom-after-policy-shift–9545.html)