RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Brazil will suspend
tariffs on corn and soy imports from countries outside the
Mercosur trade bloc until early next year to help reduce food
prices that are pushing up inflation, the economy ministry said
The decision to remove the tariffs temporarily was taken
late on Friday at a meeting of Gecex, a technical body within
the economy ministry, as reported by Reuters.
Soybean meal and soy oil imports will also be exempt along
with soy imports until Jan. 15, 2021, while corn imports will
cease paying the tariffs until March 31, 2021, the ministry said
in a statement.
"Both measures are aimed at containing high prices for
food," the ministry said.
Record high prices for both grains have impacted food prices
that are fueling inflation and squeezing incomes of Brazilians
that have already been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Inflation in August hit its highest in four years for that
month, driven by rising fuel and food costs.
High prices for soy and corn are also hurting the margins of
poultry and pork sector that relies on both grains for animal
feed and last month requested that the government free up
The tariff on corn and soy imports from outside Mercosur,
which includes Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, is currently 8%,
and 6% for soy meal and 10% for soy oil.
The economy ministry decided in early September to eliminate
tariffs on rice imports through the end of the year, amid record
high prices for the grain.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Laier and Anthony Boadle; Editing by
Tom Brown and David Gregorio)