Argentina allows exporters to reschedule corn shipments as drought hobbles harvest

Credit: REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES, March 8 (Reuters) - Argentina announced on Wednesday it would allow exporters to reschedule planned corn shipments for up to 180 days as the country's agricultural sector has been hobbled by a historic drought, causing harvests to wither.

The measure, published in Argentina's Official Gazette, was announced the same day the Rosario Grains Exchange cut its corn harvest estimate for the 2022/2023 season to 35 million tonnes, around two-thirds the estimate at the beginning of the season.

Argentina is the world's No. 3 corn exporter. However, the South American nation has limited shipments out of the country to guarantee supply for domestic demand, which the government estimates at around 21 million tonnes per harvest season.

Exporters are currently allowed to ship up to 20 million tonnes of this season's corn, but Argentina could roll backthat number as the drought is expected to continue to tackle the toll.

So far, exporters have declared 10.8 million tonnes of corn sales from the 2022/2023 season, which began harvesting in recent weeks.

The extension granted Wednesday follows a similar decision by the government in November, when wheat exporters were granted a nearly year-long extension due to the drought's impact on the harvest.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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