RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Argentina’s government said on Tuesday it will limit exports of some beef cuts until the end of the year as part of its effort to control domestic food price inflation.
The world’s fifth-largest beef exporter and a key supplier to China, Argentina halted exports for a month in mid-May.
“Exports are being re-established, but only up to 50% of last year’s average exports,” Argentine Minister of Productive Development Matias Kulfas told a news conference.
Argentina’s powerful farm sector is against the government intervening in the meat and grains export markets.
“We disagree with opening exports only 50%,” Carlos Achetoni, president of the Argentine Agrarian Federation (FAA), told local media.
But the government has domestic inflation on its mind. In the 12 months through April, meat prices in Argentina soared 60% to 70%, according to official data. In the first four months of 2021, 28.8% of the 965,286 tonnes of beef produced in Argentina were exported, of which 76.6% went to China.
The country’s overall inflation rate is expected to approach 50% this year. Beef prices in Argentina, known for its barbecues and succulent steaks, are a touchy subject, especially with midterm legislative elections coming up in November.