The head of the company that led the breakneck expansion of Argentine soy cultivation over the last two decades said on Tuesday the country's grains output could climb by 50 percent over the next three years thanks to a change of government.
Opposition leader Mauricio Macri beat ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli in Sunday's election, effectively ending an eight-year, production-sapping feud between farmers and outgoing President Cristina Fernandez, who clamped down on wheat and corn exports in a bid to curb double-digit inflation.
"Argentina over recent years has been paralyzed," Gustavo Grobocopatel, president of Los Grobo told Reuters.
"Now is the time to regain lost ground. From a quantitative point of view I see an output increase of 40 to 50 percent compared with what we are seeing today," he said, giving a three-year time frame for the expected increase to take place.
Argentina's current grains output is about 100 million tonnes per year. Macri's farm policy team sees a 30 percent increase over the four years ahead. He begins a four-year term on Dec. 10.
Macri, who won the backing of the farm lobby with a broad free-market platform, has promised to eliminate corn and wheat export taxes and ditch the quota system that controls international shipments of both crops. He also wants a more competitive exchange rate.
"Markets that are more open will increase the rate at which we invest. It will also increase foreign investment," Grobocopatel said.
He said his company has reduced by half the amount of land under its management to 50,000 hectares, due to Fernandez's policies.
Argentina, home to the vast Pampas grains belt, is the world's fourth biggest corn exporter, its No. 3 soybean exporter and No. 1 supplier of soymeal livestock feed.
"The world needs more and more food, so there's a big opportunity to enter the international markets. In this context and with these fundamentals, Los Grobo will be an important player," Grobocopatel said.