March 3, 2020 / 8:34 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 3-Argentina to raise soybean export taxes to 33% from 30%

(Recasts with government confirmation)

BUENOS AIRES, March 3 (Reuters) - Argentina plans to raise taxes on soybean, soyoil and soymeal exports to 33% from the current 30%, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday, as the government moves to increase revenue ahead of a planned sovereign bond restructuring.

Ministry officials met with farm groups during the day to discuss the new policy, which 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.

A government decree providing details of the new tax policy was expected to be published on Wednesday.

The ministry suspended on Feb. 26 the registration of agricultural exports until further notice in a move that traders said likely foreshadowed an increase in grains export taxes.

The suspension of the register prohibits grains exporters from making new deals. The suspension has slowed export operations since last week but was expected to be lifted in the days ahead, said Gustavo Idigoras, head of grain exporters and processors chamber CIARA-CEC.

Cash-strapped Argentina is a major corn and soybean supplier as well as the world’s top exporter of soymeal livestock feed.

Reporting by Nicolas Misculin; writing Cassandra Garrison and Hugh Bronstein; Editing by David Gregorio and Christian Schmollinger

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