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Argentina Wheat Trading Halts

No wheat traded at local market in anticipation of potential government export ban.

Argentina's local market Friday saw no wheat trading amid speculation that the government will limit exports, analysts say.

On Thursday and as of local time Friday, there were no spot wheat sales at the Rosario Cereals Exchange, a representative says.

The situation was the same at the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange. "There have been virtually no wheat future trades today," says Omar Carulias, spokesman for the exchange.

The reason for the standstill is that traders assume the government will limit exports soon. Local press reported a meeting Friday between Argentina's Agricultural Secretariat and wheat exporters, although a Secretariat spokesperson declined to confirm the report.

The government already changed the requirements for export commitment declarations this week, requiring exporters to have an actual contract when making a declaration. Analysts say exporters were making declarations without actually having contracts in order to reserve export rights.

Grain exporters in Argentina have already declared commitments of 7.72 million metric tons of new-crop wheat, but analysts predict only 7.25-8 million tons will be available for export from the 2006-07 crop.

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