UPDATE 1-Argentina offers exchange-rate sweetener to boost soy exports
(Adds details of incentives, background)
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Argentina's Economy Minister Sergion Massa announced new incentives beginning on Monday for soybean farmers to sell more of their stock by tapping a better exchange rate, in a bid to boost exports and hard currency reserves.
The Sunday announcement covers incentives that are set to last through at least the end of this month.
An agricultural powerhouse, Argentina is the world's biggest exporter of soy oil and flour, as well as the No. 3 global supplier of soybeans.
Amid a deep economic slump marked by soaring inflation, the government of President Alberto Fernandez is seeking to boost the central bank's U.S. dollar reserves in order to comply with the terms of a $44 billion debt deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Massa, who Fernandez picked last month to be the country's latest economic chief, told reporters at a government news conference that soybean farmers and exporters will, for the remainder of September, be able to sell and ship a tonne of the grain using an exchange rate of 200 pesos per U.S. dollar, well above the tightly controlled official rate of around 139 per greenback.
Massa said the incentives will pave the way for sales of $1 billion over the next three days.
Argentina's farmers have sold nearly 52% of the 44-million-tonne soy harvest during the 2021/2022 season, according to official data through the end of August.
At the same point during the previous season, soy farmers had already sold about 62% of their crop. (Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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