BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — In December 2019 the newly elected Argentinian government raised agricultural products export taxes to 12% from 6.7%, which in return advanced sales for market year 2019-20 grain, according to a Jan. 17 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Anticipating this new tax in early December 2019, Argentinian farmers “engaged in aggressive future grains sales” for the 2019-20 crop to avoid the expected export tax increase.

“By the first week of December 2019, farmers had sold not only wheat but also corn and soybeans in volume that exceeded 19 million tonnes more compared to the same week a year ago,” the USDA said. “Strong global agricultural prices recently helped absorb some of the negative impact of the additional export tax, but farmers also face new currency controls that make converting their grain into dollars more expensive.”

For the market year 2019-20 the USDA expects wheat exports to hit 13 million tonnes and barley exports are forecast at 2.4 million tonnes. While corn exports are anticipated for market year 2019-20, starting March 2020, for a total of 18 million tonnes compared to 12 million tonnes more than a year ago.