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Corn+Soybean Digest

Argentine Soy Trade Halted Again

Grains trade came to a halt again in Argentina on Wednesday as farmers there began a third strike in protest of the government’s grain and soy export tax system.

Trade sources said no grains were traded in the main grains port of Rosario on Wednesday.

Farm leaders announced late on Tuesday that farmers were halting grains sales again from Wednesday through Monday, June 2, to protest the government-imposed sliding-scale tax system for exports that farmers say caps prices on their goods.

The new strike follows the collapse of the latest talks between farm leaders and government officials. Argentina’s government cancelled talks with farmers scheduled for Monday after farm leaders on Sunday held their biggest protest against the government to date in Rosario.

In a statement that could further boost political tensions, former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner endorsed a document presented by his ruling Peronist Party late Tuesday associating the country's farmers with past military coups.

Traders and analysts in Argentina said on Thursday the renewed strike is not expected to affect soy exports from Argentina in the short-term because most exporters have built up healthy reserves in recent days.

Exports could be slowed if the strike stretches on for weeks, mirroring a three-week protest in March that saw some exporters renege on their contracts, they warned.

U.S traders say, however, that a growing number of soybean cargoes are being switched to U.S. origin that would normally be sourced from Argentina. U.S. soybeans shipped out of the Pacific Northwest are currently priced lower than Brazilian soybeans for buyers in Asia, while soybeans shipped from the Gulf are priced more reasonable than Brazilian beans for European buyers.

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