Agricultural leaders in Argentina have slammed the government’s “omnipresence” in the beef market, after a ban on the exporting of seven cuts for sale outside the country was extended for a further two years.
On Monday morning, Argentina’s Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries Ministry announced that it would introduce new rules for meat exports as part of its plans to guarantee domestic supply and lower prices for local consumers.
To that end, it said it would extend a ban on the sale of seven cuts (asado con o sin hueso, falda, matambre, tapa de asado, nalga, paleta, vacío). abroad for a further two years, until December 31, 2023. It also prohibited exporters from shipping full cattle carcasses and half carcasses, among others, for the same period.
Reacting to the news, the president of the Sociedad Rural Argentina (Argentine Rural Society, SRA), Nicolás Pino called on the government to stop intervening in the market and allow “free exports” for all producers.
Pino said it is “convinced that the best scenario is free exports that allow the demand and supply of products to flow, because that is where conditions are generated so that we, the producers, can invest and generate greater production."
“Bureaucratisation is not a factor that encourages market normalisation either. The recent history of our country puts us on alert,” he said in a statement.
For his part, the president of the Confederación de Asociaciones Rurales de Buenos Aires y La Pampa (Confederation of Rural Associations of Buenos Aires and La Pampa, CARBAP) Horacio Salaverri, slammed the "omnipresence" of the state in the meat market and rejected the imposition of new measures.
"We view this with concern, because although we have been improving on the meat issue, there are still restrictions that should not exist," said the leader in a radio interview. “There is clearly an advance of the state in many areas of our activity, which affects commercialisation.”
For the head of CARBAP, "we have to start on a different path, where the government does not have these short-term projects in mind that have nothing to do with development."
The government said in a its decree, published in the Official Gazette that it was setting new parameters in order to secure domestic market supplies and counter rising prices.
"This package of measures establishes a regulatory framework for the marketing and export of Argentine livestock for the years 2022 and 2023," reads the text. Decree 911/21 "reserves for the domestic market the cuts preferred by Argentines until 31 December 31, 2023 inclusive."