Argentina’s Agricultural Policies

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July 2015
Paper author(s): 
William Ridley (University of Colorado)
Stephen Devadoss (University of Idaho)
Agricultural - Natural Resource Economics

As the world’s third largest producer of soybeans and largest producer of soymeal (FAS, 2014), Argentina plays an important role in the global soy market as it is one of the world’s leading exporters of soybeans, soymeal and soyoil. In addition to soy products, Argentina is a major producer, consumer, and exporter of beef. Though Argentina has historically been one of the world’s top beef-producing countries, over the last decade it has relinquished much of its world market share as its exports have fallen. In the wake of a currency devaluation and in an effort to shift its agricultural sector’s focus to value-added exports, in 2002 Argentina’s government implemented a regime of export tariffs, with ad valorem duties of 10% on soybeans, 5% on soymeal, and 4.3% on soyoil (USTR, 2013). Since then, the export tariff on soybeans has risen to 35%, while the tariff on meal and oil has risen to 32%. The main goal of these policies is to bolster domestic availability of the products, but they are also used as a source of government revenue (Piermartini 2004; Bouët and Laborde 2012). Since 2006, in an effort to bolster domestic availability and curb rising food prices, the government has periodically imposed a ban on exports of beef and has also used an export tariff of 15% (USTR, 2013). The introduction of these beef trade policies was met with strong opposition from beef producers because of lost export sales. The recent trade restrictions have generated numerous unintended consequences in both the soy and beef sectors. 


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