October 24, 2006


Argentina's beef exports rises 24 percent despite controlled exports



Argentina's beef exports in September were 24 percent over that in August as volumes rose from 47,077 tonnes to 58,237 tonnes, according to the animal and food-inspection agency, Senasa.


In dollar terms, August exports were 36 percent higher than a year ago, at US$168.5 million, the increase comes despite government-imposed export limits to control inflation of beef prices.


Although the ban was eased in May, exports over the last few months were set at 40 percent of shipments during the corresponding period last year. Last month, the government further relaxed the export limits, lifting the quota on frozen and refrigerated cuts to 70 percent of 2005 levels.


To circumvent the limitations, exporters have been exporting higher-priced cuts.


Argentina's top meat exports include fresh beef, chilled boneless cuts, frozen boneless cuts, processed cooked beef and other bovine innards.


Russia is Argentine beef's largest market, with imports reaching US$282.6 million during the first nine months of the year.


In recent weeks, several countries have announced the reopening of their markets to Argentine beef, ending a ban imposed since February after foot and mouth disease was detected in Argentine cattle stocks.