BUENOS AIRES, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Argentina's farm sector,
the country's main exporter, is pushing to speed up dialogue
with the new farming minister to resolve simmering tensions
between the industry and the government including around
contentious limits on beef exports.
Center-left President Alberto Fernandez reshuffled his
Cabinet on Friday evening after a bruising primary election loss
sparked rifts within his administration, including naming a new
agriculture minister, Julian Dominguez.
Dominguez is an ally of militant Vice President Cristina
Fernandez de Kirchner, and was farming minister from 2009 to
2011 during her presidency, when he inherited policies including
limits on corn and wheat exports.
Argentina is the world's top exporter of processed soymeal
and oil, the second-largest global exporter of corn and a major
producer of wheat, barley and beef. The sector is the main
source of much-needed foreign currency for the government.
"What we say to Dominguez is: 'Minister, there are things we
need to solve now,'" said Nicolas Pino, president of the major
Argentine Rural Society (SRA), adding the new minister was "very
dialogue-oriented" and seen as a problem-solver.
"Time is getting short, we cannot continue waiting for
The new officials, including a farming minister and new
chief of staff, will be sworn in on Monday afternoon.
Elbio Laucirica, head of the Coninagro agricultural
association, added Dominguez understood the reality of the
sector and pointed to his deep political experience.
The farm leaders said they would push for the new minister
to walk back the current quota for beef exports - 50% of the
usual volume - applied by the government earlier this year in a
bid to contain a sharp rise in domestic prices.
Both Pino and Laucirica said the sector continues to
evaluate protests over the quotas.
"Given the change of authorities, we must give him some time
to see how things unfold, but that doesn't mean we take this
sort of action off the table," said Coninagro's Laucirica.
(Reporting by Maximilian Heath in Buenos Aires
Editing by Adam Jourdan and Matthew Lewis)