BUENOS AIRES: Argentina’s farmers have sold 20.7 million tonnes of corn from the 2021/22 season so far, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday, noting that 1.2 million tonnes were traded in the week through March 30.

The weekly volume rose sharply compared to the same period last year, when 631,600 tonnes were sold, at a moment when the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to a global supply shortfall of the grain. Argentina is the world’s No. 2 corn exporter and its farmers are beginning to harvest the 2021/22 crop, which was estimated by the Buenos Aires grains exchange (BdeC) at 49 million tonnes.

At the end of last year, the Argentine government set a limit of 41.6 million tonnes for corn exports in 2021/22, in an attempt to rein in high domestic food prices. Regarding the soybean crop, Argentine farmers have sold 12 million tonnes so far, according to government data, down from the 13.3 million tonnes traded by the same time last year.

The 2021/22 harvest has just started in the South American country. The BdeC expects production of the oilseed to reach 42 million tonnes this season. Foreign exchange from agricultural exports is critical for Argentina’s battered economy, which in 2021 recovered from a three-year long recession exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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