Argentina: Producers lose 1 M$ due to a drop in blueberry export refunds

A recent measure of the national government has reduced export refund rates. Blueberry internal taxes refunds decreased from 6 to 3.25%. Before the cut, producers will seek to guarantee the level of employability in the region.

According to the measure, which was published in the official gazette of August 21, the national government established new allocations that reduce the remuneration that the exporting sectors received as a return of internal taxes.

"This is a cents per kilo business, so this resolution has a very important impact. Last year, we received a 6% export refund. Now, everything indicate, that we'll receive 3.25% for most of the containers, which means we would receive 12 to 16 cents less per kilo exported," said Alejandro Pannunzio, the president of the Association of Blueberry Producers of the Argentina's Mesopotamia (APAMA).

"In monetary terms, that means the area of Concordia, which is expected to export 8,000 tons, wouldn't receive around one million dollars less in revenues," he said.

Asked if they were surprised by the measure, the producer said "we had heard about it for 15 days but learned what it was once it was published, and there are different possibilities according to the type of packaging, we are still finding out the details."

"The regional productions see this very badly, since the reimbursements are a recovery for taxes paid that we can not recover when exporting. The regional economies are large generators of labor and export currencies, which is what the country requires. This is neither fair nor positive," Pannunzio said.

Guaranteeing labor
In spite of this scenario, Pannunzio said that the producers were going to try to minimize its impact. "We participate in an export market where there are other players and the final result depends on the product's quality, logistics costs, and taxes, among other things. There are many factors in play. We just experienced a very cold night, and fortunately producers had no losses, which is a good thing," he said.

Finally, he insisted that the measure would generate an important impact that they were still analyzing. "We want to finish analyzing the measure, and are working on those scenarios," he concluded. 

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