USMEF Weekly Audio: Argentina’s Suspension of Beef Exports a Misguided Policy

Last week the Argentine government announced a suspension of most beef exports, with a stated goal of bolstering domestic supplies. While some may view this as a potential boost for U.S. beef exports, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Economist Erin Borror says the export suspension is of little benefit to anyone, and past experience suggests it will negatively impact both beef producers and consumers in Argentina. In the past, Argentina’s export restrictions created great uncertainty for ranchers and cattle feeders and made them less profitable, causing a pullback in production. With less beef being produced, consumption also suffered.  

The suspension does not apply to beef variety meat or to beef muscle cuts exported under specific quotas. So Argentina can continue to export some beef cuts to the European Union and the small volumes exported to the United States can also continue. Argentina currently accounts for 8% of total global beef exports, with more than 70% of its 2021 exports destined for China. While Borror says China will definitely be the market most impacted by the suspension, she does not feel it will significantly influence U.S. exports, as U.S. grain-fed beef shipments to China were already on the rise and compete primarily with Australian product.  

USMEF Economist Erin Borror

The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider. 

Submitted to the BARN by:

Joe Schuele

Vice President, Communications

U.S. Meat Export Federation

303-547-0030 (mobile)

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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