Argentina will not fully resume meat exports to EU yet

Argentina will not fully resume meat exports to the EU for the time being. The Argentine government has decided to extend the current restrictions on beef exports for another two months. Up to half of the meat production is allowed to be exported, but some popular meats not yet.

In May, the government halted all beef exports in an attempt to contain rising prices for Argentina's staple foods. The price had risen by 76% in the domestic market year over year. A gradual market reopening was instituted in June with a quota system of 50% of monthly volume.

Dev's export restriction is intended to give a half to the ever-increasing meat prices in the domestic market. Argentina's economy is plagued by screeching inflation that has been going on for years. Inflation, one of the highest in the world, reached 29.1% between January and July, while the rise in the year-over-year price index is 51.8%, official data shows.

Now that a much larger part of the meat production has to be sold on the domestic market, prices are starting to fall a few percent. According to the latest report from the Chamber of Commerce and Meat Industry (Ciccra), the retail price of meat fell by 0.9-2% in July, after a previous increase of 8.2% in June 2021.

Argentina's beef exports last year amounted to 897,500 tons worth about $2.71 billion. The country is the fourth largest exporter of beef in the world and one of the largest consumers per capita.

The government has also banned the export of seven cuts of beef popular with Argentine consumers for the rest of the year, including the main ingredient “asado”, a cut of meat for barbecue. Meat consumption in the country has steadily declined in recent years, from a peak of 69.3 kilograms per person in 2009 to just under 50 kilograms last year.