Beef consumption in Argentina falls to historic lows

The consumption of beef In Argentina reached a historic low in the first quarter of 2024, reported the Argentine Meat Chamber, one of the largest exporters and consumers of cattle in the world.

“The apparent consumption of beef in January-March of the current year totaled 499.7 thousand tons and would have been 17.6% lower than in the same quarter last year, which is the lowest record in the last three decades,” he explains continue The March report published on Monday.

According to FAO, the UN food organization, Argentina is one of the countries that consume the most beef, with almost 50 kilos per year per person.

The South American country is in an economic crisis that has exacerbated Argentines’ loss of purchasing power in the last four months since the inauguration of President Javier Milei and the implementation of his adjustment program.

Inflation reached 11% in March, lower than in the previous three months, but remained high at 288.9% in the interim period.

In the same month the Prices According to the report, beef share increased 9.8% compared to February and 278% year-over-year, leading to a migration of customers to cheaper cuts.

“Consumption has fallen sharply, those who bought monthly are now buying daily,” Carlos Príncipe, 75, owner of the butcher shop “‘Nucho’ El Rey de la Gizzard”, told AFP.

“I see that popular cuts – which were not available before – are now selling well, such as roast beef, shoulder and osso buco,” said Príncipe, who saw a 25% drop in sales in the first quarter of 2024.

Meanwhile, Argentina’s beef exports rose 22.9% in March compared to the same month last year.

Despite this good news for foreign trade, according to the chamber report, there was 7.6% less production between January and March 2024 than in the same period last year.

Over the last 30 years, average annual consumption per capita in Argentina has fluctuated, although with a downward trend.

According to the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute, in 1994 it was 72.5 kilos per year per inhabitant and in 2023 it was 51.1 kilos.

SPRING: AFP

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