Maize From Argentina May Cool World Markets

Sep 17, 2012 08:29 AM EDT | By Sharon Robinson

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Argentina's maize exports will ease some of the pressure on the global food supply. (Photo : Malone)

Argentina will be exporting another 2.75 million tonnes of maize, bringing a modicum of stability to the volatile global food market. The announcement was made by Argentina's agriculture minister, Norberto Yauhar.

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The maize for exports comes from last year's harvest. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, this will raise Argentina's maize exports to 16.45 million tons.

"The additional shipments‚ together with recent better-than-expected figures from the US Department of Agriculture‚ should help ease tight international markets‚" Yauhar said, according to the FAO's news Centre.

Argentina has become one of the top exporters of maize in the last three years. Roughly 15 percent of the maize in the global food supply comes from the South American country. Moreover, it is likely to maintain its position as one of the top exporters, thanks to positive forecasts for the next harvest of food grains. According to Yauhar, 15 million tonnes of maize, along with 5 million tonnes of wheat have already been earmarked for exports for the next marketing year.

Many countries have been increasingly relying on Argentina for their food grain supply. The severe drought in the U.S mid-west reduced the country's farm belt into a dust bowl killing acres of food crops. This threw the international food market into a panic, leading to expectations of a global food crisis.

But, several countries like Brazil and Argentina, and the Black Sea grain region have stepped up to the challenge of providing the world with adequate food. Moreover, adequate supplies of rice in the market, thanks to good harvests in India and other South East Asian countries, have prevented the international market from going completely off beam.

Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), believes that there is no immediate threat of a food crisis, reports the FAO. But, he added that constant vigilance and close monitoring of the situation is required.



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