The Argentina people have been traditionally the major consumer’s of beef in the world over the past goodness how many years – yep they have been by far the biggest consumers of the holy cow and proud of it. However, all that changed this year when horror of horrors they find that they have been over taken by none other than their very near neighbor’s Uruguay. Uruguayan people now consume more beef than Argentine – not much more but more. Argentines per year are now consuming only 57.2 kilos of beef per year (down from 69 kilos per year wow) and the beefy Uruguayans 58.2 kilos ( that is a lot of beef for sure) –not a great difference between then but after a great show by Uruguay in the football World Cup and poor one by Argentina that must hurt. Why the decline - well one can make some intelligent guesses -it certainly could have something to do with the price of meat which has soared here in the past year – in fact the market price has doubled from 3 pesos per kilo to over 6 pesos – quite an increase. So it could be the price of meat is now expensive for Argentines – it could of course mean that instead of eating meat for breakfast, dinner and tea they are getting into healthier eating and are cutting out the quick beef fix for breakfast! Who knows but it is interesting eh. At the same time Argentina who were once the largest exporter of beef have now been passed by yep you guessed it little Uruguay as a major player in the beef exporting world – now considering the size of Argentina and the size of tiny Uruguay that is indeed a surprise . What in fact happened was that (as some of you who bother to read my blog know (thank you thank you) we suffered a severe drought from 2007 til early last year. With sever restrictions on exporting beef so that the home market could be satisfied farmers sent a more than normal number of cows to market because the price they got here didn’t reflect the international price. That means that there are less cows in Argentina - to make matters worse in a bid to compensate for the loss of revenue farmers opted to plant soya – since the price of soya has now soared maybe the situation will continue - farmers will continue to plant soya and breed less cows . Certainly beef export controls are hurting farmers and something has to give - watch this space
Aren’t you glad you read these facts ok ok I know you are asking yourself before you die of boredom is how does this affect you if you are visiting Argentina steak wise – is there a beef drought - are restaurants now selling fish and chips instead of a large steak . Well the answer you will be relieved to know is no – beef is still very much on the menu. I was out last night in the city and went to a great venue to watch a once famous Argentine singer ( Chico Navaro) and had a Bife Chorizo (steak )– it was a bit more expensive than before but not much more expensive that a Big Mac and fries and it was delicious - so don’t worry if you come here you will be soon helping the Argentines to get back where they belong - number one the beef eating steaks !
This is David Cummings alias the English Gaucho of to count my cows