Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
Is NVDA a 🟢 buy or 🔴 sell? Unlock Now

Argentine farmers back conservatives in election, hoping for freer markets

Published Aug 12, 2023 07:10AM ET Updated Aug 12, 2023 07:17AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
5/5 © Reuters. Cattle run in front of Juan Carlos Ardohain, 49, on a farm he rents in San Vicente, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina August 10, 2023. REUTERS/Tomas Cuesta 2/5

By Maximilian Heath and Miguel Lo Bianco

SAN VICENTE, Argentina (Reuters) - In Argentina's grains fields and cattle ranches, farmers are hoping upcoming elections will bring political change and an end to years of economic uncertainty, ushering in freer markets with fewer currency controls and export limits.

The South American country will vote in open primary elections on Sunday that will give an indication of how general elections in October will go. The ruling Peronist coalition is facing a strong challenge by the conservative opposition.

The government, battling an acute shortage of dollars, annual inflation scraping 116%, and a fast declining currency, has imposed strict capital controls, limited some exports, and hiked interest rates to 97%. That has made business difficult in one of the world's top soyoil and meal exporters and No. 3 corn exporter.

"It's been a tough time for the farm sector and we hope there will be a change to boost production," Horacio Deciancio, 71, a rancher and head of farming town San Vicente's local agricultural group, told Reuters from his fields, surrounded by cows.

Like many farmers he opposes the Peronists, who the industry has long clashed with over taxes and export controls, and favored the main opposition bloc Together for Change, which has a slight lead in opinion polls.

"At least what they are talking about in the political campaign would improve conditions for the sector," he said.

Competing to lead the Together for Change coalition are Buenos Aires city mayor Horacio Larreta and ex-security minister Patricia Bullrich, taking on the Peronist front-runner Sergio Massa, the current Minister of Economy.

Larreta and Bullrich have both pledged to remove taxes and limits on exports of agricultural products, as well as eliminate caps on exchange and capital markets, diverging only on how fast those controls could be unwound.

"I think Larreta could be a good candidate for what he's promising," said Juan Carlos Ardohain in a field he rents in San Vicente for cattle. Currency exchange instability in recent years had inflated his costs, he said.

Argentina's currency controls, which tightly limit access to dollars, have stoked a flourishing black market for foreign currency where greenbacks command over twice the official price, distorting import and export markets.

Many farmers, or "chacareros", from the wide Pampean plains, the engine room of Argentina's economy, say they will get behind the conservative opposition as they did in 2015, when they helped propel former President Mauricio Macri to power.

"What we need are free markets," Ricardo Firpo, an agricultural producer from the breadbasket province of Santa Fe, said at the annual fair of the Argentine Rural Society (SRA) in capital Buenos Aires.

"We need to be able to export what is needed, to work freely, to be able to bring in and withdraw foreign currency, a single exchange rate, lower interest rates," he said.

At a recent event, the head of the powerful SRA chamber sat next to Larreta in a show of support and warned that the farming sector was in jeopardy due to what he called mismanagement of the economy by the Peronist administration.

The government blames the country's economic woes on issues they inherited, as well as the impact of the Ukraine war and a record drought. Massa has promised to steady the economy, but his policies have not directly addressed the farming sector, with whom the Peronists have long had a mutual antagonism.

"We think the farm sector can give much more than it is doing now," farmer Deciancio said.

"But if they put their foot on our head, as is happening now, the sector will not be able to come up to breathe."

Argentine farmers back conservatives in election, hoping for freer markets
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your investing.com profile, will be public on investing.com and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (5)
dylan mulvaney
dylan mulvaney Aug 12, 2023 5:51PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Anybody with a job who pays tax supports conservatives, unless they are rich white liberals who want communism to enslave the middle class.
Gonzalo Ribeiro
Gonzalo Ribeiro Aug 12, 2023 12:16PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Rodriguez Larreta isn't conservative and not a word about Milei. Garbage article
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Aug 12, 2023 10:33AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
stop with the elections. they are rigged all over the world. just stop
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 12, 2023 10:33AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Yeah! Nothing wrong with feudalism!
Pañales Delivery
Pañales Delivery Aug 12, 2023 9:44AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
VLLC !!!
alvaro ara
alvaro ara Aug 12, 2023 8:53AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Javier Milei presidente carajo!
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email