Argentina eases protectionist corn curbs by lifting export ban

Argentina, the world’s third-largest corn exporter, ended the temporary ban on grain exports and will instead set a daily sales limit to guarantee domestic supply.

In late December, the country suspended export licences until March to maintain adequate availability of animal feed before the next harvest. The government will lift the measure following talks between the Agriculture, Fisheries & Livestock Ministry and the Agroindustrial Council, but will limit daily sales to 30,000 tonnes for the rest of the season, it confirmed on Monday.

Benchmark Chicago corn futures rallied to a six-year high last week on concerns about tighter global grain supplies. Fields in Argentina have been threatened by drought in recent weeks, endangering corn and soybean crops at a time when demand is bolstered by heavy purchases from China.

The short-lived corn export ban has fuelled concerns among local farmers and operators that Argentina is returning to an era of meddling in crop markets.

A series of worker strikes added to recent supply disruptions from the country, which is also a key exporter of soy products.


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