Argentina to loosen restrictions on beef exports

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BUENOS AIRES, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Argentina will loosen export restrictions on beef that were put in place in a bid to curtail inflation and had been panned by meatpackers, the government said on Thursday after a meeting with industry groups.

Argentina’s inflation hovers around an eye-watering 50% a year, while the poverty rate sits at 40%, factors that had pressured center-left President Alberto Fernandez to try to contain rising food prices by curbing beef exports.

After a meeting with the largest four farming groups, the government said it would remove restrictions on exports to emerging markets, while allowing premium cuts to be sent to Europe and the United States, among others.

Restrictions will remain in place, however, on the most consumed cuts in Argentina, in a bid to prevent those prices from rising.

The announcement will put an end for now to a standoff with the industry, which had proposed a different solution to increase domestic supply and tamp down inflation: fatter cows.
The sector chamber CICCRA on Thursday proposed that the government mandate a gradual increase in the weight of cows at the time of slaughter, which would over time increase the volume of meat for domestic consumption and exports.



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