Argentina is expected to allow beef exports to resume, with restrictions, after enforcing a snap 30-day ban last month.

Key points:

  • Argentinian beef exports to resume next week, according to local news
  • President Alberto Fernandez put snap 30-day ban on beef exports last month to control meat prices
  • Some beef still exported to USA and Eurpoe during ban, analyst says

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez put in place a 30-day ban on exporting beef, in an effort to control rising meat prices in the country, ahead of looming national elections. 

After meetings between the government and meat exporters, media outlets in Argentina reported that beef exports would officially be allowed to resume next week, but with restrictions on export volumes.

In 2020 Argentina shipped out around $US3 billion worth of beef, mostly to China, making it one of the world’s biggest beef exporters. 

A supermarket fridge lined with trays of red meat.

Beef prices in Argentina have been on the rise, as has inflation.(

ABC Rural: Neroli Roocke

)

Meat analyst Simon Quilty said it seemed the government wanted to make sure the majority of beef stayed in the nation.

“The government had come out wanting to prevent 60 per cent of exports, and the exporters were willing to try to get 40 per cent of exports prevented,” he said.

“So a compromise is what is now being discussed and, as I understand it, 50 per cent of exports will not go, and therefore remain on the domestic market.”

Mr Quilty said if Argentina’s beef exports were reduced by 50 per cent, around 250,000 tonnes of beef would be removed from the global beef market. 

“The biggest loser out of this will be China, without doubt,” he said.

“[China] was getting approximately around 40,000 tonnes a month in shipments, this year that will be reduced to about 20,000 tonnes.

“It will shorten up supply dramatically and be very price-supportive for [other] exports of beef around the world, for the balance of this year.”

a cow and a calf standing in a paddock.

China will be most affected by a cut to Argentina’s beef exports.(

Facebook: Argentina Ministry of Agriculture

)

Exports to US and Europe, despite ban

According to Mr Quilty, import data suggested Argentina continued to export beef into the US and Europe during the 30-day ban.

“So since the ban was put in place, imports into America from Argentina have been 1,250 tonnes, or 24 per cent of this years’ imports,” he said.

“It looks like they’ve pushed a bit harder into that [North America] market [to protect its quota], simply because all of the other markets were shut off to them, apart from the EU.” 

Argentina set to end beef export ban, but with restrictions
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