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Export Taxes on Agricultural Products: Recent History and Economic Modeling of Soybean Export Taxes in Argentina


William Deese, John Roeder


This paper examines the issue of export taxes on primary commodities; almost 40 countries applied export taxes in recent years. The case of Argentina, which is a prominent user of the export tax and a leading exporter of soybean products, is then considered. In 2006, it taxed exports of soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil, respectively, at 23.5 percent, 19.3 percent, and 20 percent. We simulate the effects of altering these taxes. Removing export taxes on soybean oil and meal, but continuing the tax on soybeans causes exports of meal and oil to rise and exports of soybeans to fall. Exports of each product increase when taxed uniformly at 10 percent. Removal of the taxes on all products increases exports of each product. Devaluation of the Argentinean peso by about 60 percent in 2002 likely affected these exports more than the changes in the export tax that were considered.