Argentina’s beef exports surge to highest level in decades

Foreign sales of Argentina’s famed steaks and other cuts of beef soared last month to reach their highest level in more than five decades, according to official data published on Tuesday, in a rare bright spot for the South American country’s ailing economy, reported Reuters

The data showed that beef exports reached 82,548 metric tons in February, their biggest monthly haul since 1967.

During the first two months of this year, beef shipments also totaled a record 160,478 tons, following a move by right-wing libertarian President Javier Milei’s government to end export restriction for some cuts of meat.

In January and February, over 75% of the country’s foreign sales of meat were shipped to buyers in China, followed by the European Union and Israel.

Argentina boasts one of the world’s top farm sectors and is a major supplier of grains, including processed soybeans and corn, in addition to beef, though the sector has in the past been weighed down by export curbs designed to hold domestic prices down.

Argentines are also major beef consumers, especially fond of traditional asado barbecues.

But amid a prolonged economic slump marked by annual inflation currently running at more than 270%, average beef consumption fell to about 40 kilograms per capita in February, the lowest figure since mid-2021, according to data from the recently renamed bioeconomy secretariat.