ARGENTINA - The Argentine government is to restrict beef exports for 15 days in a bid to halt the rise of prices in the domestic market.
Bernama.com reports that the decision was confirmed by Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich and sparked criticism by business leaders in the sector with some voices saying the strategy will have "no positive effects."
According to the Argentine government beef prices have climbed 54 per cent since the beginning of the year, a hike that "has no relation (to) costs' structure."
The Domestic Trade office run by Augusto Costa will reduce permits for beef shipments.
Over the past two weeks, cattle prices have jumped 10-15 per cent.
"The rise (corresponds) to speculation fueled constantly by media, economists and opposition representatives that have devaluation perspectives and a destabilizing interest that led to the retention in the cattle market", said Capitanich.
He added there is also "speculation resulting from the increase of exports with the European Union toll and trade perspectives with the Russian Federation."
The Head of the CICCRA Argentine beef trade chamber Miguel Schiariti criticized the government's decision saying "it will be insignificant and will have no positive effect."
The measure, Schiaritti told reporters, represents the "same ineffectiveness and ignorance over the (beef) sector" that ex Domestic Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno had, widely questioned by the opposition and private-sector figures.
Moreno was replaced in his post in December last year by Augusto Costa, a close aide of Economy Minister Axel Kicillof.
The CICCRA chairman said that the rise in cattle prices follows a restriction in the supply due to roads' "bad conditions."
"This is no way to fix the situation; it is rather the repeat of the policies that led us to lose 10 million of cattle heads, to having 135 abattoirs closed and losing 16,000 jobs," Schiariti said calling for "rationality" as he said "stopping the trade of 6 per cent of what it is produced abroad can have no effect on the remaining 94 per cent."
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