Market News & Headlines >> Argentina Again Considers Grains Export Tax Hike

Argentina is considering an increase in grains export taxes, an official told local radio on Friday, sparking new concern among farm leaders that the Peronist government might further intervene in the markets in a bid to control inflation. Argentina's 12-month inflation rate was 42.6% through March.

"An increase in export taxes is being analyzed," Domestic Commerce Secretary Paula Espanol said in a radio interview, according to Reuters News Service. "It would not raise my pulse to take measures that are needed to keep prices down."

The government earlier this year proposed an increase in grains export taxes and a limit on export shipments as means of holding down domestic prices and ensuring adequate domestic food supplies but ditched the proposal after producers threatened to protest the move. Argentina’s oilseed crushers also struck a deal with the government to hold down domestic edible oil prices.

The farm sector was also quick to respond to Espanol's comments on Friday. “Statements of this tenor again?" tweeted Carlos Iannizzotto, head of the CONINAGRO farmers' association. "These untimely statements unnerve our growers, generate concern and widen the political rift."