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Argentina Authorizes Extra 2 Million Tons of Corn Exports

Argentina, the world’s second-largest corn exporter, authorized an additional 2 million metric tons of the grain for shipment, Agriculture Undersecretary Oscar Solis said.

The corn, from the 2010-2011 season, is worth as much as $440 million, Solis said today by telephone from Buenos Aires. The approved amount creates a total shipment of about 16.6 million tons, he said. An additional 1.5 million tons of corn may be earmarked for export in January, according to Solis.

Argentine farmers were pushing for an increase in the quota to 2-3 million tons as production approaches a record of 30 million tons in the 2011-2012 harvest, up from 21 million tons last season, according to Agriculture Ministry forecasts. The current corn crop is 70 percent planted, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said in its weekly report today.

The government last week authorized an additional 2.7 million tons of wheat for shipment, which would boost the current season’s exports to a record. The government sets export quotas to guarantee domestic supply and periodically approves extra exports.

The U.S. is the world’s largest corn exporter.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to $5.9275 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for March delivery dropped 2 percent to $6 a bushel.

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