Argentina is worried about domestic food prices and inflation, and as it happened a few weeks ago with an attempt to ban corn exports, a similar situation apparently is happening with wheat, and the different actors involved are working on measures aimed at securing the wheat supply and reasonable bread and pasta prices.
Discussions are being held with farmers, millers and the government over measures aimed at ensuring an ample domestic wheat supply. Last month proposals for limiting corn sales overseas were beaten back by growers and exporters. Now the focus is on wheat, with rumors flying around the Pampas grains belt that an export cap might be on the way.
We will have a meeting today with the wheat value chain, including farmers, grains handlers and millers. We will see if we can develop options, Gustavo Idigoras, head of Argentina's CEC agricultural export companies' chamber, revealed.
We will also meet over the coming days with the government. They do not want to intervene in the market or limit wheat exports, but everything is on the table, Idigoras said.
Traders and the government are for sure talking about limiting wheat exports to one extent or another, said a representative from the baking industry.
Argentina is among the top ten international wheat suppliers, with most exports going to neighboring Brazil. The agriculture ministry says that of the 17.2 million tons of 2020/21 wheat recently harvested, 10 million tons will be exported. Official data also show that exporters have already bought 8.9 million tons of 2020/21 wheat.
Given the international situation, and Argentina's inflation, it is believed the government may resort to export limits in a bid to slow increases in domestic food prices. The country's overall consumer price inflation rate was 4% in December alone, further punishing families already hit by a long recession from what is considered the longest lockdown as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.