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Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani




Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani





Argentina Slaps Export Duty on Agricultural Goods
The Argentine government on Monday announced the implementation of anexport duty on agricultural and industrial goods. Raw materials such asoilseeds and grains will be subject to a 10% duty and manufacturedcommodities to one of 5%. The latter will be applicable to exports ofvegetable oils and oilmeals. The introduction of an export tax was alreadydiscussed last week. The decision contrasts with President Duhaldesstatement earlier this year in which he dismissed such plans. EconomyMinister Remes Lenicov yesterday called the export tax a temporarymeasure, but no details were disclosed concerning its duration. Thetaxation of agricultural exports will bring much needed revenues for theheavily indebted government. The measure evoked strong protests fromfarmers, which fear that the export tax will translate intocorrespondingly lower domestic prices. As a complementary step, thegovernment reduced the VAT from 21% to 11%. Favourable rainfall has beenreceived in central Argentina since March 1 and has improved growingconditions somewhat in parts of Cordoba and Santa Fe, which had becomecritically dry. A weather system moving through S. America is forecast tobring widespread and above normal rainfall to the Pampa region. Thesoybean harvest is under way only in the northern regions. In most areas,soybeans can still benefit from the improved weather conditions, butdryness has already done some irreversible damage to first-crop soybeansin northeastern Cordoba and central Santa Fe. The Buenos Aires province isexpected to remain largely dry in coming days, boding well for sunflowerharvesting, which will soon begin in this region. The sunflower harvesthas progressed to 17% or 0.35 Mn ha nationwide, from which 680 Thd T ofsunseed were produced, implying a high average yield of nearly 2.0 T perhectare so far. Yield results from the key growing areas of the B. Airesprovince must now be awaited, but under continued favourable conditions atotal crop of 3.5 Mn T can be expected.

5 March, 2002 (OIL WORLD FLASH)