Export caps continue to hurt Argentinian breeders and consumers – MercoPress


Export ceilings continue to hurt Argentinian breeders and consumers

Saturday, September 4, 2021 – 08:52 UTC

Retail meat prices have not fallen despite government intentions and announcements

Argentine government policies restricting meat exports took a toll on animal production and slaughter, lowering domestic consumption as prices rose, exactly what the measures were supposed to avoid, according to a report by the Rosario Stock Exchange (BCR) published on Friday.

The study warned that continuing restrictions on beef exports through October 31 will affect the external performance of the livestock and meat chain, as well as the local market.

The document also pointed out that declines in labor, production, consumption and exports had been recorded, as prices paid to producers declined while retail prices continued to rise, albeit moderately.

The survey also detailed that the slaughter in the May-July quarter was the lowest since 2016, falling 12.3% year-on-year and nowhere near the 3.5 million head slaughtered in the past. same period of 2020. This decrease resulted in a decrease in meat production of 10.7%. to reach 720,000 tonnes of bone-in beef, the lowest for this period since 2017.

Protective measures also had a negative effect on consumption and exports during the same period analyzed by the BCR. Compared to 2020, consumption fell 6.5%, reaching 34.39 kilograms per capita and became the lowest per capita record recorded by the Ministry of Agriculture. Meanwhile, exports fell nearly 21%, which in hard currency would amount to a loss of US $ 150 million.

Export ceilings were anything but good news for producers. Since the start of the year, the prices of cows at the Liniers market in Buenos Aires have fallen by 1.7%.

“The investment period involves extended cycles and the lack of clear rules seriously undermines investor confidence in the primary sector and industry,” said economists Alberto Lugones and Julio Calzada, quoted by Infobae.

Export ceilings bring uncertainty to agriculture when making decisions such as rotating areas for grazing and green crops, in addition to missed economic losses that affect rural employment and local development in places like the province of Santa Fe, which accounts for about 40% of national meat exports.

“It is a clearly discouraging prospect for pastoralists in an inflationary context. The price of veal is the one that has suffered the most from the closure of exports in May, but the price of cows is the one that has fallen throughout the current year, ”analysts said.

Since the leveling off on exports, “consumers have not recorded any declines [retail] prices ”, and“ if Argentina wants to consolidate itself as a reliable food supplier on a global scale, the closure of meat exports goes in the opposite direction ”, they summarized.

According to a report by the Argentine Rural Society (SRA) released this week, losses in the livestock and meat chain due to export restrictions have exceeded $ 1,000 million. “We are not happy not only for the sector that I represent; We are not, because the decisions taken by the national government obviously harm the whole country, ”said SRA President Nicolás Pino.


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