viernes, 28 de agosto de 2009

Argentina May Import Beef First Time as Herds Die

By Matthew Craze
Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina, the biggest beef- consuming nation, may resort to imports for the first time within two years as a drought kills cattle and export controls prompt ranchers to quit the business.
Pastures have dried up and forage prices gained so much that farmers are allowing livestock to die in the fields, said Arturo Llavallol, a director of Buenos Aires-based farm group The Rural Society. Ranchers are killing higher than usual numbers of breeding stock, compromising future output, he said.
The nation’s herd has dwindled 7 percent since 2006, when the government restricted beef exports to boost supplies in the local market, Llavallol said in a telephone interview from his farm in Saavedra, southwest Buenos Aires province. The country may need imports within a couple of years, he said.
“If we want to keep exporting, we have to lower consumption,” said Llavallol, also the vice president of the Paris-based International Meat Secretariat, an association that represents ranchers worldwide. “If you don’t have enough raw materials, you shut down the factory or you import.”
Argentines will consume about 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of beef per person this year, according to Miguel Schiariti, an analyst who compiles a monthly report for the Argentine Beef Industry and Commerce Chamber. Consumption has risen from less than 60 kilograms a person in 2006 when the export restrictions began, according to Ciccra, as the chamber is known.
Cheapest Prices
Prices in the Latin American nation are the cheapest in the world at about $1.65 a kilogram, compared with $2.82 in neighboring Brazil and $2.86 in the U.S., Miguel Gorelik, a spokesman for Argentine meatpacker Quickfood SA, said in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires.
Farmers may renew roadside protests as Argentina’s Senate votes Aug. 20 on a bill that would give President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner power to change farming policies without consulting congress, Eduardo Buzzi, head of the Argentine Agrarian Federation, told Infobae newspaper today.
Farmers and ranchers last year blocked grain and cattle shipments for four months to protest a new tax on soybeans and the export controls on farm goods. The government backed down on the new tax in July 2008 after it was rejected by Congress.
Argentina, which was the world’s largest beef exporter in the 1970s, slipped to seventh place last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brazil, now the world’s largest exporter, will ship four times as much beef as Argentina this year, according to the USDA.
Argentina will “celebrate” its bicentenary year in 2010 eating imported beef, milk and wheat, said Hugo Biolcati, president of the Rural Society, in an annual address during a livestock show in Buenos Aires. The show debuted more than a century ago.
Export Restrictions
Lifting the export restrictions set in place by former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner would allow ranchers to get better prices and stop them from selling breeding cattle for slaughter, according to Llavallol.
A drop in Argentine beef production and exports could hurt earnings at companies such as Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s biggest meatpacker, and Marfrig Alimentos SA, which both own slaughterhouses in Argentina.
JBS, which became Argentina’s largest beef producer after its 2007 acquisition of U.S. meatpacker Swift & Co., has ceased investment in the Latin American nation because government controls are hurting economic growth, Marcus Vinicius Pratini de Moraes, a member of the company’s board and a former agriculture minister of Brazil, said from Sao Paulo.
‘Stopped Growing’
“We stopped growing in Argentina because of those problems,” Pratini de Moraes said in an Aug. 14 interview. “The world is currently divided into three types of countries: the developed ones, the emerging nations and Argentina.”
Ricardo Gauna, a spokesman at Argentina’s Agriculture Secretariat, declined to comment when contacted by telephone.
On Aug. 6, Fernandez announced an easing of some restrictions on beef exports. Five days later, she signed an accord to ship 80,000 metric tons of beef to Venezuela.
Parts of central and western Buenos Aires province are suffering a “severe drought,” the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said in an Aug. 12 crop report. The exchange said its report this week may show rains failed to alleviate the drought in the area, prompting ranchers to sell off their herds.
“Undoubtedly, it’s going to affect the herd,” said Quickfood’s Gorelik. “There have been deaths, but it’s difficult to quantify.”
The Argentine diet consisting of large amounts of beef dates back three centuries ago, when cowboys, known as gauchos, in the Spanish colony would feed from wild cattle on the grassy Pampas and sell the hides.
Hoping for Downpours
Ranchers are hoping downpours will arrive later this year as the El Nino weather pattern forms, which warms ocean temperatures and creates excess precipitation on the Pampas. So far, the effects of El Nino have only alleviated the drought nearer the eastern coastal areas of the Pampas agricultural zone, according to the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange.
Opposition parties are seeking to eliminate government restrictions on beef and other farm exports in December, when they assume seats won during mid-term elections.
Still, ranchers who have given up on raising cattle to grow crops instead “aren’t going to come back,” said Luciano Miguens, a farm adviser to Union Pro, a coalition of opposition parties, in an interview from Buenos Aires. “We need to stimulate the ranching and dairy industries, which are going through critical moments.”
Last week, the yield on Argentina’s benchmark 8.28 percent dollar bonds due in 2033 rose 43 basis points to 15.89 percent, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. The peso rose 0.47 percent to 3.845 per U.S. dollar from 3.833 on Aug. 10.
The Merval stock index declined 2.1 percent to 1,761.61. Banco Macro SA declined 8 percent, while Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte SA fell 7.5 percent.
The following is a list of events in Argentina this week:
*T Event Date Budget Balance Aug. 18-21 Trade Balance Aug. 20
To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Craze in Santiago at Last Updated: August 18, 2009 16:31 EDT

lunes, 17 de agosto de 2009

La reforma de la salud de Obama y la alimentación

Whole Foods es una cadena estadounidense de almacenes dedicados a alimentos naturales u orgánicos. Uno de los ejemplos de organización empresarial exitosa que tiene mucho para decir, dentro y fuera del rubro alimentación. Esta semana su gerente y fundados escribió una columna para criticar el costoso plan de salud de Obama.

The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare
“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out
of other people’s money.”
—Margaret Thatcher

With a projected $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009, several trillions more in deficits projected over the next decade, and with both Medicare and Social Security entitlement spending about to ratchet up several notches over the next 15 years as Baby Boomers become eligible for both, we are rapidly running out of other people’s money. These deficits are simply not sustainable. They are either going to result in unprecedented new taxes and inflation, or they will bankrupt us.

While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment. Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone:

• Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs). The combination of high-deductible health insurance and HSAs is one solution that could solve many of our health-care problems. For example, Whole Foods Market pays 100% of the premiums for all our team members who work 30 hours or more per week (about 89% of all team members) for our high-deductible health-insurance plan. We also provide up to $1,800 per year in additional health-care dollars through deposits into employees’ Personal Wellness Accounts to spend as they choose on their own health and wellness.

Money not spent in one year rolls over to the next and grows over time. Our team members therefore spend their own health-care dollars until the annual deductible is covered (about $2,500) and the insurance plan kicks in. This creates incentives to spend the first $2,500 more carefully. Our plan’s costs are much lower than typical health insurance, while providing a very high degree of worker satisfaction.

• Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.

• Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.

• Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.

• Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.

• Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor’s visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?

• Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.

• Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Many promoters of health-care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care—to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals. While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?

Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges. A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America

Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.

Although Canada has a population smaller than California, 830,000 Canadians are currently waiting to be admitted to a hospital or to get treatment, according to a report last month in Investor’s Business Daily. In England, the waiting list is 1.8 million.

At Whole Foods we allow our team members to vote on what benefits they most want the company to fund. Our Canadian and British employees express their benefit preferences very clearly—they want supplemental health-care dollars that they can control and spend themselves without permission from their governments. Why would they want such additional health-care benefit dollars if they already have an “intrinsic right to health care”? The answer is clear—no such right truly exists in either Canada or the U.K.—or in any other country.

Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.

Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.

Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.

Health-care reform is very important. Whatever reforms are enacted it is essential that they be financially responsible, and that we have the freedom to choose doctors and the health-care services that best suit our own unique set of lifestyle choices. We are all responsible for our own lives and our own health. We should take that responsibility very seriously and use our freedom to make wise lifestyle choices that will protect our health. Doing so will enrich our lives and will help create a vibrant and sustainable American society.

—Mr. Mackey is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc.

miércoles, 12 de agosto de 2009

India se queda sin agua

India atraviesa una dura sequía por el Monzón más débil de los últimos cinco años. Pero su problema con el agua es en realidad estructural. Su subsuelo se seca. Una vez más un embudo malthusiano que pende sobre la alimentación de casi 1.000 millones de personas.
El riego no es una solución para la producción de alimentos, sino solo una postergación del problema. Y si es mal usado, es agravar los problemas.

Space Images Forewarn of Indian Groundwater Crisis, Study Says

By Jason Gale
Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Orbiting satellites measuring the gravitational pull of water below the earth’s surface confirm what authorities in India suspected for more than 20 years: groundwater is shrinking in some of the nation’s driest areas.
Water equal to the maximum held by Lake Mead, the biggest reservoir in the U.S., was depleted from underground supplies of three northwest Indian states between August 2002 and October 2008, scientists said in the journal Nature yesterday.
The findings suggest that pumping water from wells for irrigation is damaging India’s resources more than the government has estimated. Without measures to curb demand, dwindling groundwater supplies may cause drinking-water shortages and erode crop production in a region inhabited by 114 million people, the authors said.
“That part of northern India is really experiencing rapid groundwater decline that’s mostly human-driven,” said co-author Jay Famiglietti, associate professor of earth system science at the University of California, Irvine, in a telephone interview yesterday. “What they are doing is not sustainable.”
About a fifth of water used globally comes from under the ground, the Stockholm International Water Institute has said. Withdrawals are predicted to increase 50 percent by 2025 in developing countries, and 18 percent in developed countries, according to the policy group based in the Swedish capital.
India’s area of irrigation almost tripled to 33.1 million hectares (82 million acres) from 1970 to 1999, the authors said, spurred by the so-called Green Revolution that began in the 1960s to bolster production of wheat, rice and other staples.
River Contamination
Surface water supplies are also strained. Three-quarters of the country’s rivers, lakes and dams are contaminated by human and agricultural waste and industrial effluent, according to a report by the Ministry of Urban Development in September.
Groundwater stocks in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana states are being lowered at an average rate of about 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) a year, Famiglietti and colleagues said. The depletion is equal to about 17.7 cubic kilometers (4.7 trillion gallons) of water a year, exceeding the estimate of 13.2 cubic kilometers by the Ministry of Water Resources, the researchers said.
More than a quarter of the land area in the three states is irrigated accounting for about 95 percent of the groundwater consumed, they said. Levels of subsurface water also appeared to be declining in western Uttar Pradesh. That state, along with Punjab and Haryana are India’s largest wheat-producing states.
Monsoon Forecast
This year’s monsoon may be the weakest in five years, the India Meteorological Department said this week. That’s exacerbating demand for watering crops and prompted some governments to divert electricity to farms to pump water, said Sunita Narain, director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment, who was not part of the study.
India’s government established a Central Ground Water Authority in 1986 to regulate pumping from aquifers. Groundwater hasn’t been developed evenly across India, and exploitation has led to a drop in water levels and seawater intrusion in some areas, the Ministry of Water Resources said on its Web site. Of 5,723 sites assessed, 839 are “over-exploited,” 226 are “critical” and 550 are “semi-critical.”
“I don’t think that the water issues are going to get the attention they deserve until we reach crisis mode,” Famiglietti said. “In that part of India, they are certainly reaching crisis mode.”
Pumping costs are being ratcheted up by the falling water table and the need to drill deeper wells, said Steven Gorelick, professor of earth sciences at California’s Stanford University.
Cost of Pumping
“The problem of declining groundwater levels will become self-limiting at some point,” Gorelick said in an e-mail yesterday. “Use will curtail when it is simply too costly to pump the water to the surface from great depths, or when the quality of deeper and deeper groundwater is no longer suitable.”
Famiglietti and colleagues used hydrological modeling and data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace), twin satellites launched in March 2002, to quantify groundwater losses over more than six years.
“What is remarkable about this study is that such small declines in groundwater levels can be detected using remote sensing based on Grace satellite data,” said Gorelick. “The approach is like trying to track new construction of urban skyscrapers by sequentially measuring the average elevation of an entire city.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Gale in Tokyo at Last Updated: August 12, 2009 13:00 EDT

lunes, 10 de agosto de 2009

El etanol en el análisis de The Economist

¿Causa el etanol de maíz la deforestación de la Amazonia?
Maized and confused
Aug 10th 2009From The Economist print edition
Does ethanol in Iowa cause deforestation in Brazil?
HOW green is ethanol? The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), an American lobby for the stuff, obviously wants voters and politicians to think it is very green indeed. The association’s cool-coloured website plays down claims that ethanol may actually harm the environment. The biggest target of those claims these days is that growing maize to make ethanol causes indirect changes in land use by altering the incentives of other, often foreign, farmers.
Adding ethanol to the traditional markets for maize (food and fodder) inevitably pushes the price up. That encourages farmers, including those in poor countries, to boost production. If some of those farmers plough up savannah or cut down forest to grow the extra crops, the carbon dioxide released from the plants destroyed and soil ploughed up reduce the benefits of substituting the ethanol produced for petrol. If forests that are still growing are cleared, the environment loses the effect of their future uptake of carbon dioxide, too.
The benchmark paper on this, published in Science in February 2008, argues that, if such changes in land use are taken into account, ethanol is twice as carbon-intensive as petrol in the short run. Making ethanol and burning it in a car (without land changes) emits 20% less carbon dioxide than refining and burning petrol. But planting a hectare of ethanol causes someone to clear land for food crops elsewhere. That ethanol crop must provide that modest 20% reduction for 167 years to achieve a net carbon reduction. By then, of course, it is far too late to mitigate climate change.
Bob Dinneen, the RFA’s head, calls these worries “crying wolf” and a “big lie”. A video on the association’s home page has a narrator, brow furrowed, looking puzzled while explaining land-use concerns—how could ethanol cause deforestation “halfway around the world”?—while the text on screen says flatly that ethanol has “no impact on rainforests”. In more sober language, the RFA says that crop yields will increase to meet the maize diverted to ethanol, and points to United Nations’ estimates that there are still billions of hectares of unused arable land around the world.
The latest row is over an investigation by America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into the question of land-use changes. In June, the RFA asked for the EPA’s data and models so that it could attempt to replicate any study that assigned land-use-change carbon to ethanol’s overall green “score”. The EPA provided spreadsheets, but the RFA shot back last week that it still did not have the models that brought the data together, and that it wants to run its own sensitivity analysis.
Despite Mr Dineen’s hot language, it is clear that some changes of land-use are happening, but Mr Dineen argues that deforestation thousands of miles from American shores should not be pinned on Midwestern farmers. Is he right?
Perhaps, in a narrow moral sense. The American farmer can understandably disclaim responsibility for what a Brazilian logger does. But the RFA’s attitude borders on being in denial. Crop yields almost certainly cannot increase fast enough to make up for the diverted maize, and any tilling of virgin land does release carbon dioxide in large quantities.
As much as the ethanol lobby claims to be surrounded by deceitful enemies (among them the oil industry), it is in fact protected by powerful congressmen. Indeed, existing mandates for ethanol production look set to get bigger in climate-change legislation coming through America’s Congress. The House of Representatives’ agriculture committee stripped changes in land use from consideration in the American Clean Energy and Security Bill that is now under scrutiny there, at least pending further study. Now the RFA looks as if it may want to muck about with that study. Asking for the EPA’s models so it can run its own sensitivity analysis could be a way to run a blizzard of competing numbers past congressmen who are not scientifically equipped to tell who is right.

A bigger problem, though, is the unstoppable desire of politicians to pick green winners—and not necessarily for green reasons. Ethanol, like “clean coal”, has a habit of being among them not because of its inherent virtues, but rather its political geography. Maize grows in crucial states, some of them “swing” states like Iowa and Ohio. Barack Obama thus recently renewed his support for American, maize-based ethanol. Letting Brazilian ethanol, made from sugarcane, into the market tariff-free would be cheaper and probably greener. But that, of course, is not on. Eventually, new crops such as switchgrass and new technologies that allow whole plants to be converted into ethanol, rather than just their sugar- or starch-rich parts, will change the equation by boosting yields. In the meantime, the truth about ethanol is murky.

jueves, 6 de agosto de 2009

Jim Rogers prevé el declive de las bolsas estadounidenses

Durante la furiosa suba de 2008 muchos adjudicaron los aumentos a la "especulación" y EEUU está actuando en consecuencia, reprimiendo la operativa de corto plazo en las bolsas de comodities. Peor para EEUU estima Jim Rogers, el analista más alcista respecto al futuro de las materias primas. Desde su radicación asiática, Rogers sigue viendo la expansión de los emergentes mercados de Oriente.

Jim Rogers Says U.S. Commodity Curbs to Drive Markets Overseas
By Claire Leow
Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. proposals to place curbs on commodities trading will drive business overseas, particularly to Asia, said Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings.
“It is remarkable because America is shooting itself in the foot again,” he said in an interview in Singapore today. “It’s going to drive the business away and the rest of the world is going to welcome it with open arms.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is urging Congress to rein in the $592 trillion derivatives market with new U.S. laws that are “difficult to evade.” Opaque financial products contributed to almost $1.5 trillion in writedowns and losses at the world’s biggest banks, brokers and insurers since the start of 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The end result is going to be Singapore, or Hong Kong, or Shanghai or who-knows-where” will be “quite happy to take that business,” he added.
As the U.S. contemplates tighter regulation, China’s interest in commodities is accelerating, Rogers said. The world’s most populous country already accounts for about one- third of global copper usage. It also accounts for about one- sixth of wheat demand and one-fifth of soybeans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“The three commodity exchanges in China are booming,” he said. “Dalian trades more soybean contracts than Chicago does already, and that’s with a blocked currency, a closed market. Can you imagine what’s going to happen if and when they open that market up to foreigners? It’s going to explode.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Claire Leow in Singapore at Last Updated: August 6, 2009 05:56 EDT

lunes, 3 de agosto de 2009

Roubini se sube al carro

Roubini afirma que los precios de las materias primas subirán en 2010
El economista estadounidense Nouriel Roubini cree que las materias primas seguirán encareciéndose en los próximos meses, "especialmente" en 2010. "A medida que la economía global se encamine hacia el crecimiento y deje atrás la recesión, veremos más incrementos en los precios de las materias primas", explicó.

En su comparecencia durante un congreso del sector minero en Australia, el profesor de la Escuela de Negocios Stern de Nueva York y presidente de RGE Monitor señaló que el petróleo será el que experimente un mayor ascensos en su precio debido a que se espera un aumento en la demanda.

Petróleo a 75 dólares en 2010
En concreto, calcula que de media el barril se situará entre los 70 y los 75 dólares el próximo año, unos niveles que no parecen tan lejanos. De hecho, la pasada semana tanto el Brent -de referencia en Europa-, como el Texas -de referencia en EEUU-, cerraron con repuntes del 2%, y hoy ya han llegado a tocar los 70 dólares en la negociación intradía.

De acuerdo con los analistas, el optimismo en los mercados ante señales del fin de la crisis, así como la debilidad del dólar, están detrás de estas subidas, que ya duran tres semanas.

Por su parte, la minera brasileña Vale, la mayor productora de mineral de hierro del mundo, afirmó que la demanda de metales está empezando a recuperarse y pronto comenzará a reanimar la producción. El director financiero de la compañía, Fabio Barbosa, aseguró el pasado 30 de julio que lo peor ya había pasado.

La economía crecerá el año que viene
En opinión de Roubini, "ahora hay una potencial luz al final del túnel". Sin embargo, el conocido popularmente como Doctor Doom (Doctor Fatalidad) puntualizó que el avance será gradual.

"Esta recuperación continuará muy muy despacio", afirmó. Según estimó, la economía global se contraerá un 2% este año, para retomar la senda positiva en 2010 y terminar el ejercicio con un "crecimiento del 2,3%".

domingo, 2 de agosto de 2009

Guerra de trincheras en Argentina

El gobierno no capitula y sigue dispuesto a mantener las retenciones, a pesar de que en las últimas elecciones pareció que el costo político por sostener los impuestos a las exportaciones hacen naufragar el buque k.
¿Seguirá bajando el área sembrada de todo lo que no sea soja? Los primeros datos no demorarán en llegar, la siembra de verano empieza en pocos días en el norte.
Tras reunirse con la Mesa de Enlace por primera vez en meses, el Gobierno anunció que abrirá las exportaciones de trigo y maíz con un mecanismo consensuado para garantizar el abastecimiento interno. Además, sostuvo que se mejorarán las condiciones de exportación de carne. Pero no se tocarán las retenciones a los granos, no sólo de la soja sino tampoco del trigo y del maíz, como se había especulado. Las entidades del campo se quedaron con sabor a poco, aunque falta la respuesta oficial de las entidades. El encuentro en la Casa de Gobierno duró dos horas y media. Por el lado del Gobierno estuvieron el jefe de Gabinete, Aníbal Fernández, y los ministros de Economía, Amado Boudou, y de la Producción, Débora Giorgi. La Mesa de Enlace estuvo representada con los cuatro titulares de las principales entidades rurales, sin secretarios ni encargados de prensa. Los dirigentes ruralistas se fueron de la Casa de Gobierno sin hacer declaraciones, aunque por algunos gestos a los periodistas de la Sala de Prensa, entre ellos el enviado de Clarí, el balance fue regular. En lo concreto, un rato después aparecieron Fernández, Boudou y Giorgi para dar las conclusiones oficiales. Hubo una larguísima introducción de la ministra de la Producción sobre los grandes temas tocados, disparando cifras y más cifras del aporte del Gobierno y la situación del área: desde montos de créditos hasta bajas en los costos de las maquinarias. Luego, Boudou defendió con fuerza "el sostenimiento del superávit fiscal". Primera señal de que no iba a haber retoques en las retenciones. Fernández dio las tres principales medidas, después de aclarar que en la reunión "no había límite en la agenda y fuimos respetuosos". Básicamente se abre en su totalidad la exportación de trigo y maíz con un mecanismo consensuado entre las partes para sostener el abastecimiento interno. También se reduce el encaje (lo que debe quedar en bodega para poder exportar) de carnes: pasa del 65 por ciento a un 30 por ciento. Y en los cortes Premium se elimina el encaje. Además, se mejorarán las compensaciones a la cría de novillos pesados con destino a invernada. De retenciones, finalmente, nada, aunque se especulaba con alguna decisión inmediata vinculada al trigo y al maíz. De hecho, Aníbal Fernández respondió de forma errática a algunos interrogantes de los periodistas, como en el referido a si iba a haber otro encuentro y cuándo. El encuentro vino precedido por el acuerdo para la industria lechera anunciado ayer por Cristina Kirchner y que tampoco conformó. El titular de la Rural, Hugo Biolcati, reconoció que "es positivo, pero no la solución" y que el Gobierno está poniendo " un parche arriba del otro".