The price of the meat grew over the last year below the inflationdespite the jump it registered at the beginning of 2023. In tune, the consumption registered a increase in April. And, according to a private survey, the average value of different cuts was more economical in Argentina compared to other countries in the region, such as Uruguay and Chile.
As reported by INDECApril inflation was 8.4% monthlywhile the food and beverage chapter climbed 10.1%. In the year-on-year comparison, the CPI accumulated a rise of 108.8%while food jumped 115%. Bovine meat, in this scenario, lost the race against the acceleration of prices.
In fact, according to the report carried out by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Meats (CICCRA), in April the average rise in the prices of the main beef cuts measured by the INDEC was 2.5% monthly and 78.9% annuallyhe. “In the year-on-year comparison, the gap between the evolution of the average price of the most relevant beef cuts and the general level of the CPI widened from 8.7% in March to 14.8% in April”explained the entity.
Different aspects influenced this phenomenon. As analyzed by the Mediterranean Foundation, “There are external and internal factors that influence this loss of value”. “Regarding the external context, the drop in international bovine meat prices compared to the previous year, the average price of the ton exported this year is 27% below the price observed in the first four-month period of 2022,” the study noted.
“Regarding local factors, on the supply side, the drought and the lack of enough food for animals, it has forced many establishments to speed up and increase discards and shipments to slaughter,” the report detailed.
How were the prices compared to the region?
In this scenario, Fundación Mediterránea carried out an analysis to compare the price paid for beef consumers in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil, using official statistics and through an own survey.
“In the comparison between Uruguay and Argentinaof 12 cuts of beef at the final consumer level (the same ones are chosen for both countries) and values for the month of April, it is found that the average price of this basket was US$9.4 per kilo in Uruguay and u $8.3 per kilo in Argentina (in both cases at the official exchange rate)”, explained the study, which highlighted: “That is, on average, meat in Argentina was 12% cheaper than in Uruguay”.
“In the comparison between Chile and Argentina, 13 cuts of beef at the final consumer level (similar for both countries), and values for the month of April, it is found that the average price of this basket was US$12.4 per kilo in the neighboring country, while it was of US$9.8 per kilo in Argentina. For the reference month, beef was 21% cheaper in Argentina than in Chile”, the report detailed.
On the other hand, they indicated that “a survey was also carried out in supermarket online stores in the third week of May, for the purpose of incorporating Brazil in the comparison of bovine meat prices in the region”. “In this measurement, which reached 16 supermarkets and more than 150 prices of beef cuts from the four countries, it is found that the price of a basket of 8 medium/high quality cuts was $2,687 per kilo in Argentina, $2,545 per kilo in Brazil, $3,174 in Uruguay and $3,555 in Chile”, the study added.
“These prices in stores or supermarket line reveal that the country continues to have, as in previous measurements, a bovine meat cheaper than in Uruguay and Chile and that is located 5%-6% above the prices of Brazil, It is worth remembering that this country is the leading exporter and is probably the most competitive (lowest cost) in terms of beef and beef prices worldwide,” he concluded.
In that scenario, the meat consumption grew back in April. According to data published by CICCRA, “the moving average of the last twelve months of per capita consumption of beef would have been 49.9 kg/year. “That is to say, 4.8% above the April 2022 recordbut 8.2% below the record for April 2019”, he stressed.