May 29, 2006


Argentina partially lifts ban on beef exports



Argentina said it would partially lift a two-month ban on beef exports and allow exporters to ship up to 40 percent of the level they sold between June and December last year, the Economy Ministry announced Friday (May 19).


Argentine President Nestor Kirchner banned beef exports in March to curb inflation of beef prices at home brought on by burgeoning international demand. The ban is starting to see effect as livestock prices have fallen by almost 30 percent over the past month.


Argentina consumes more beef than any other country, making beef prices a factor in the country's inflation rate.


Rising beef prices last year helped push the 2005 inflation rate up to 12.3 percent.


Argentine beef exports have tripled in the past five years. Last year, they totaled almost 600,000 tonnes and this year they are expected to exceed 700,000 tons, according to USDA.


The country also limited the export of wheat products last week as rising wheat prices raised fears that foreign demand would leave the domestic market without enough supply.