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ECONOMY | 08-07-2024 14:41

Milei’s shock therapy sends demand for beef to 110-year low in Argentina

Beef demand is forecast to drop below 45 kilos (99 pounds) a person this year, the lowest in data going back to 1914.

Argentina, famous for its chart-topping consumption of beef, has made a surprising pivot toward cheaper chicken as households try to stretch their dwindling pay-cheques

Beef demand is forecast to drop below 45 kilogrammes (99 pounds) a person this year, the lowest in data going back to 1914, according to a report by the Rosario Board of Trade based on government data. That would mark the first time Argentina’s demand for beef is essentially on par with chicken, which has been growing in popularity across the globe.

Halfway into President Javier Milei’s first calendar year in office, Argentina is mired in a deep economic recession after he devalued the country’s currency and eroded shoppers’ purchasing power. Pork and poultry cost roughly half as much as beef. A greater awareness of the importance of balanced diets has also driven more families to choose poultry and pork.

That said, Argentines — together with neighbouring Uruguayans — are still comfortably the planet’s biggest beef eaters. 

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by Jonathan Gilbert, Bloomberg

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