Argentina is restricting shipments of beef, a staple in the world’s fifth-biggest exporter, the latest unorthodox movement by the government to try and contain runaway inflation that is approaching 50% yearly.

President Alberto Fernandez advised a key beef export association it will not be permitted to market the item abroad for 30 days, according to a Generation Ministry statement published on Monday night. During this period, the authorities will set a set of emergency measures for your industry.

Global beef demand”generated distortions with domestic costs that can’t be tolerated anymore. We can’t keep seeing beef prices grow month without any justification.”

The measure demonstrates that the government is willing to sacrifice much-needed dollars from exports to appease voters ahead of a midterm election later this year. The nation’s beef exports are flourishing in recent years thanks to China-led demand and earnings reached nearly $3 billion in 2020 however, the government was increasingly worried about the political cost of falling domestic consumption.

Argentines, who traditionally have been among the world’s most voracious red-meat drinkers, have observed their intake reduced steadily amid decreasing diet and income changes. A protracted economic slump means annual per capita beef consumption has dropped to 48 kilograms (106 pounds), the lowest amount in data on document, and far less than the 2009 summit of 69 kilograms, according to beef industry category Ciccra.

Retail beef prices at the Buenos Aires region increased greater than 65% during the last year, advertising authority IPCVA said.

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The conversation during Fernandez’s meeting with all the export group also included”potential actions to restrict speculative practices” and fiscal evasion. Some of those steps will be adopted over coming days.

Fernandez added that the 30-day suspension period could be curtailed when the implementation of the measures results in”positive benefits,” according to the announcement.

Farmers’ Protest
Argentina’s four main farm institutions, viewed as opposed to the ruling coalition, didn’t squander time before criticizing the decision, telling their associates on Tuesday morning to halt the beef trade in the nation for over a week as a means of protesting the measure.

Argentine beef exports have been surging for four years and reached a record from the first two weeks of 2021, based on Ciccra. The suspension resembles comparable policy decisions during 2003-2015, under the presidencies of both Nestor Kirchner and his successor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, which led cattle numbers to plunge and the country to lose share in the international industry.

The government last month formalized a register to ensure domestic supplies of beef at prices that were available, in addition to monitor shipments, as inflation reach 46%, a move farmers feared could be a de facto tool for curbing exports.

Not all beef cuts could possibly be contained in the settlement, which has not been printed, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.