Brazil to eliminate tariffs on corn and soy until 2021, source says

By Rodrigo Viga Gaier

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government has decided to temporarily eliminate tariffs on corn and soy imports from countries outside the Mercosur trade bloc until next year, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The decision was taken late on Friday at a meeting of Gecex, a technical body within the economy ministry, said the source, confirming a Reuters report from Thursday.

Soybean meal and soy oil imports will also be exempt along with soy imports until January 15, 2021, while corn imports will not pay the tariffs until March 31,2021, the source said, requesting anonymity to speak freely.

Brazil's meat trade group ABPA representing the poultry and pork sector, which relies on both grains as animal feed, requested the exemption last month, arguing that current record high prices in Brazil were hurting their margins.

The tariff on corn and soy imports from outside Mercosur, which includes Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, is currently 8%.

The economy and agriculture ministries declined to comment.

Brazil's Economy Ministry decided in early September to cut tariffs on rice imports to zero through the end of the year, amid record high prices for that grain. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Laier; Editing by Tom Brown)

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