Argentina is blocking any further exports of corn because it says it needs the livestock feed at home.
The country is one of the world’s major suppliers of soybeans, corn and wheat, but has been experiencing big food-price increases this year.
“This decision is based on the need to ensure the supply of grain for the sectors that use it as a raw material for the production of animal protein such as pork, chicken, eggs, milk and cattle, where corn represents a significant component of production costs,” the government statement said.
It caught the global grain trade by surprise.
So far this crop year, Argentina has exported 34.23 million tonnes of the $38.5 allowed by export permits. That leaves 4.27 million tonnes that are now blocked.