BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — Argentina is working to increase revenue and alleviate competition between commercial and small-scale soybean producers by proposing a soybean export tax segmentation by farm size, according to a March 5 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In December 2019 the newly elected Argentinian government raised grains and oilseeds export taxes.

On March 4, under a new decree, Argentina raised its soybean export taxes to 33% from 30%. The tax hike is part of President Alberto Fernandez’s plan for making the country solvent after announcing it will have to revamp about $100 billion in what it calls unsustainable debt.

But the country also is working to even the playing field between commercial and small-scale soybean farmers by basing export taxes on farm size.

“We are applying the concept of social equality, that is to say, that export taxes are rising for those with greater ability to pay, and there will be a benefit for less well-off producers, who the prior governments never served,” said Luis Basterra, minister of Argentina’s Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

The increased export taxes were strongly resisted by the Argentinian ag industry. There is also concern that the Argentine government may be trying to prevent unified farm resistance by dividing groups by farm size, the USDA said.

Argentina’s 2019-20 soybean production estimate has been raised to 54.1 million tonnes due to improved growing conditions in the region, the USDA said.

The country’s wheat, corn and sorghum export taxes remain at 12%.