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Argentina to amend export taxes in austerity push

The Argentine government will amend export taxes as part of a raft of fiscal measures aimed at calming investors amid a sharp slide in the peso, Reuters reported.

"The national government has adopted the decision to proceed to modify some of the export rights of grains, oilseeds and their by-products," according to a resolution published in the country's official gazette.

The government did not specify whether the taxes would be raised or expanded, or when the changes would be implemented, according to the newswire.

Argentina will also scrap several ministries from the federal government in an austerity push to reduce its budget deficit, Reuters reported separately, citing local media. Under the initiative, the ministries of science, culture, energy, agriculture and tourism will reportedly be eliminated or merged with other ministries.

The measures come as the South American country heads into talks with the International Monetary Fund over the early release of bailout funds from a three-year, $50 billion standby agreement reached in June. Argentina has $82 billion in financing needs for 2018 and 2019.

The country's economy contracted 5.8% year over year in May, while the peso has plunged nearly 50% against the U.S. dollar so far this year.

Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne earlier said the country's economy is expected to shrink 1% in 2018 before recovering with growth of at least 1.5% in 2019.