By Maëlle Alquezar
Argentine steaks are renowned worldwide.
However, beef exports have significantly decreased for the past few years. Let’s find out the reasons behind its decline.
Nowadays, even less than 7% of Argentine steaks are exported
. This figure is very surprising given that Argentina was the world’s third largest beef exporter in 2005. Today, it ranks only 11th. Indeed, 800,000 tonnes (i.e. 787,500 UK tonnes) were exported in 2005 compared to 183,000 tonnes (i.e. 163400 UK tonnes) last year. In the meantime the number of cattle grew from 48 million in 2010 to almost 52 million last year. How can we explain this striking difference then?
One of the main reasons for this decline is related to former President Néstor Kirchner who raised the tax on beef exports from 5% to 15% in 2006
. A few months later, he introduced a ban on all beef exports for 180 days
. These two measures aimed to fight against the growing beef prices in the country. Indeed, steaks became extremely expensive due to the high global demand and the 2001 financial crisis in Argentina. As a consequence, beef exports dropped by 45% from 2006 to 2011. The non-competitive foreign exchange and the lack of support from President Cristina Kirchner, widow of the former President, also affected Argentina’s beef export industry.
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