Economic Focus – Argentina

Argentine farmers enraged by export taxes on their crops resumed blockade of rural highways after talks failed to end a 29 day strike that had halted most of the countries grain exports and emptied supplies in local supermarkets.

The strike was aimed as a protest against a 44 percent export tax on commodities like soy and sunflower seeds implemented by the government. According to CNN, Argentina is the world’s largest corn exporter and third largest soybean exporter. Furthermore, about 95 percent of Argentina’s soybeans are exported.

The tax was initially implemented as a measure to contain Argentina’s surging inflation rate which officially topped 9 percent last year. Independent sources projected that inflation may actually be above 15 percent. Clearly this strategy of controlling inflation is not working in the eyes of farmers. Source: CNN, International Herald Tribune

Facts – BBC
  • Full name: Argentine Republic
  • Population: 39.5 million (UN, 2007)
  • Capital: Buenos Aires
  • Area: 2.8 million sq km (1.1 million sq miles)
  • Major language: Spanish
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Life expectancy: 72 years (men), 79 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 peso = 100 centavos
  • Main exports: Food and live animals, mineral fuels, cereals, machinery
  • GNI per capita: US $4,470 (World Bank, 2006)
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