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Argentine Corn Growers Urge End of Export Cap to Boost Crop 60%

Corn producers in Argentina are urging the government to lift a cap on exports and pledging to boost output by as much as 60 percent should the government free them to tap rising foreign demand for the grain.

Growers will produce as much as 31 million metric tons of corn in the 2012-2013 season if a 15 million-ton cap on exports is lifted, said the Argentine Association of Regional Consortia for Agricultural Experimentation. Production in the current 2011-2012 crop year is estimated at 19.3 million tons, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said on July 15.

Farmers in the country, the world’s third-largest corn exporter, are urging the government to let them take advantage of the worst drought in half a century in the U.S. to boost exports as Chinese demand grows. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has limited exports to ensure Argentina’s domestic consumption, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates at 8.6 million tons in the next season.

“This should be the corn year for Argentina,” the association, known as Crea, said today in an e-mailed statement. “Should the government announce the entire lifting of corn export quotas, farmers would have enough confidence to increase their planting.”

Argentine this month increased the quota from 10.5 million tons.

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