Paraguay approves 10 pct soybean export tax

ASUNCION, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Paraguay on Wednesday gave final approval to a 10 percent tax on soybeans which is expected to raise $300 million per year for the world’s No. 4 soybean exporter and one of South America’s poorest nations.

The tax, subject to adjustment in years of low agricultural productivity, was approved by Congress late on Wednesday after earlier approval by the upper house Senate.

Paraguay exported $2.4 billion worth of soy this year through August, according to the central bank.

The country is set to harvest at least 9.3 million tons of soy in the 2013/14 crop year, matching or exceeding the previous season’s record crop, according to Agriculture Minister Jorge Gattini.

The grains business in Paraguay is largely controlled by global agricultural companies like Bunge and Archer Daniels Midland.

Soybean is the country’s main export, but the new tax applies to corn and wheat shipments as well.