Argentina lifts restrictions on beef exports

The Argentine Government of President Javier Milei has authorized the export of seven “popular cuts” of beef which had been banned from sales abroad under Alberto Fernández, it was reported in Buenos Aires.

The National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (SENASA) greenlighted as from this week the export of all beef cuts, whether fresh, chilled, or frozen, it was explained.

Through Decree 911/21 (“21” meaning from 2021), Fernández halted all shipments of roast, vacuum, flank, skirt, matambre, tapa de asado, chump, and shoulder, among others. Decree 911 had entered into force in January 2022 and was in force until Dec. 31, 2023. 

The differentiation for the export of cows of categories D and E and bulls, better known as “Chinese Cow” because they were never to be consumed in the domestic market but are nonetheless part of the diet of Asian clients, has also been terminated.

In this new framework, Senasa updated the procedures to allow the export of all types of beef cuts. The phytosanitary authorities also proceeded to adapt the veterinary inspection services and computer systems to the new conditions, particularly the export certification system, which came into effect on Monday.

Restricting sales abroad has usually been a tool under Kirchnerism to curb domestic prices and “look after the Argentine people’s table.” The Fernández administration closed beef exports in May 2021 and then implemented a system of quotas and a ban on the export of certain cuts, while shares for the United States or for Israel’s kosher cuts were exempted.

Before the restrictions, beef exports in 2020 amounted to one million tons.