“The country is in a delicate situation, where we have to control fiscal spending and also the inflationary process, and that needs everyone’s effort. We can’t put these increases on people”Said this Wednesday the president, Alberto Fernández, in the midst of the dispute with agricultural entities for the temporary closure of corn exports.
The president placed the measure within a anti-inflation strategy and appealed to the responsibility of producers to resign price in a context of pandemic. “I am with a fight for the issue of food prices in Argentina. The world demands food and prices such as soy, corn and wheat rise. You cannot continue to function with the logic of a normal economy because there is no normality, we are in a pandemic, “he added.
In parallel to the announcement of the lockout of the Rural Society, Argentine Rural Confederations and the Agrarian Federation and the warning of the Government that it is not going to yield in a context of pressure for the cessation of commercialization, a negotiation path.
The main actors in the corn chain, including producers, stockpiles, exporters, cooperatives and the poultry, feedlot and pig industry held a virtual meeting to bring positions closer together and raise a proposal. They want to emphasize that there is enough corn in the country, about 10 million tonsthey say, which is much higher than the need for domestic demand. Going to propose a coordination mechanism between cooperatives, stockpiles and the poultry industry to avoid shortages and some financing system so that the industry can pay the producers in better commercial conditions.
Doors inside, the government says it can negotiate a Partial reopening of exports provided that an agreement has been reached between private parties. However, the conflict has already escalated and politics, the government itself and the opposition that is embodied in the agricultural entities play in the middle.
“We must have a principle of solidarity based on guaranteeing Argentines what is consumed in the country at an appropriate price and that they then export the rest at whatever they want. I understand that the price of corn has grown a lot and it is a great opportunity to export it, but what I don’t understand is Why do they have to charge Argentines for corn in the same way as someone else who wants to pay for it in another part of the world. Producers produce corn in Argentina, pay taxes in Argentina, pay tariffs in Argentina and why do they have to make Argentines pay the price that the world pays, “he said in radio statements. President Fernández.
The president also referred to the meat situation, given that “the world demands meat now that China has started to import and then the price went to hell. If you produce everything in pesos, Why do Argentines pay the kilo of barbecue as a Chinese, a French or a German pays? I do not get it. I have to take care of people’s pockets because we are in a very delicate, emergency situation, and we have to take care of those who have the least ”.
The government keeps corn exports suspended until March 1, 2021, when the new 2020/21 sales campaign of the cereal formally begins. Official numbers show that to date 34.23 million tons of corn have been exported for the current 2019/20 season out of a theoretical exportable total of 38.50 million tons. That is Almost 90 percent of what was expected has already been sold abroad.
The Government calculates that to the internal supply theoretically available of about 4 million tons are added the 4 million that were going to export. The Executive hopes that the measure contains domestic corn prices, in a context of rising international prices. This implies a transfer of income from producers to industry and consumers.
“Let’s spread a Agreement between private parties for both corn and wheat, which is another conflict that may appear in the short term. We need to lower a change and for the Government to lift the measure. It is clear that there is enough corn for domestic demand, but also that there is a macroeconomic context that does not invite the producer to sell, so financing mechanisms are minimally needed, “they say in the corn chain.
Anyway, there are difficult pitfalls to skip to reaching an agreement, because with the Liaison Table having announced el lockout, the Government is limited to negotiate, while keeping the conflict open can have greater consequences.