Market News & Headlines >> Argentina's Beef Exports Rebounding

Argentina’s beef exports are on the rebound and are expected to rise further next year as the December 2015 elimination of beef export taxes has helped stimulate expansion of the country’s cattle herds. 

In addition to eliminating the 15% duty on beef exports, the government of President Mauricio Macri has given cattle producers increased access to loans from state banks.

 According to USDA data, Argentina was the world’s fourth largest exporter of beef a decade ago, shipping 552,000 metric tons overseas, but ranked only No. 12 in 2015 with exports of just 186,000 tons. 

Several analysts consulted by Reuters News Service said they see Argentine beef exports rising to 220,000 metric tons this year and expect exports to shoot to 300,000 tons in 2017. USDA forecasts Argentina’s 2016 beef exports at 210,000 tons, up 13% year over year. 

The rush to expand herds has led to short-term tightness in beef supplies as ranchers retain cows for breeding purposes. According to Argentina's Ciccra beef industry chamber, slaughter fell 6.1% nationwide in the first 10 months of the year to 9.6 million head. 

Every percentage point fall in slaughter represents investment of $65 million among ranchers nationwide, said Cristian Feldkamp, an analyst with farm group CREA. "Eighty percent of the ranchers we have surveyed are reporting increases in their herds," he told Reuters.