UPDATE 1-Brazil suspending tariffs on corn and soy until 2021

UPDATE 1-Brazil suspending tariffs on corn and soy until 2021
(Adds government statement confirming decision)

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, the economy ministry said on Saturday.

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.

Brazil’s meat trade group ABPA, representing the poultry and pork sector that 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 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; Editing by Tom Brown)

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