Argentine farmers vow protest over beef export cap, still planning details

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BUENOS AIRES, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Argentina's main farm associations said on Thursday that they plan collective action to protest against the extension of government limits on beef exports, although the timeframe and scope of the actions were still under discussion.

Argentina's government late last month extended until Oct. 31 a cap on beef exports at half the normal levels in a bid to increase domestic supply and tamp down fast-rising food prices.

The South American country is the world's fifth largest beef exporter, a key global wheat supplier, the world's No.2 corn exporter and the top exporter of soy oil and meal.

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The four main farm bodies said in a joint statement on Thursday that they met earlier in the day to discuss plans regarding "collective actions we will take following the (government) intervention in the cattle and beef market."

"We are defining with our bases how we will protest," they said.

Last week the head of the Argentine Rural Confederations (CRA) said that farmers would definitely be halting trading, including in grain transactions, unlike a protest earlier in the year that only affected livestock.

A source from another body, the Sociedad Rural Argentina (SRA), told Reuters on Thursday that "more options than trade stoppages were being evaluated" and that deliberations would continue in the coming days.

The center-left Peronist government, which faces primary elections on Sunday ahead of a November mid-term vote, is battling inflation at an annual rate above 50% and is trying to keep food prices low.

It has capped or restricted beef exports since May. read more

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Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Sonya Hepinstall

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