LatinNews Daily - 16 August 2023

In brief: Argentina denies beef export ban amid price negotiations

*Argentina’s agriculture minister, Juan José Bahillo, has stated that meat exports have not been suspended, just hours after Argentina’s customs authority reportedly announced a 15-day ban on beef exports. On social media, Bahillo said that the agriculture and economy ministries were negotiating meat prices for the domestic market and that no suspensions to meat exports were in place. He added that: “Our responsibility as public officials is to bring certainty to the productive sectors and peace of mind to the people.” In a press conference, the head of the customs agency, Guillermo Michel, announced that negotiations had begun “with all sectors” with regards to prices. He said “we are renewing the price agreements already in force and we are establishing increases of 5% per month for 90 days.” Michel did not make specific reference to meat prices in the press conference. The price negotiations are taking place following an emergency decision by the central bank (BCRA) to devalue the peso by 21.6% to Ar$350 per US dollar in a bid to calm markets after the shock performance of far-right political outsider Javier Milei in Argentina’s 13 August presidential primaries. It also comes as Argentina continues to face rampant inflation. According to the national statistics institute (Indec), monthly inflation in July stood at 6.3%, up from 6.0% in June. This brings annual inflation to 113.4%, a decrease on the 115.6% registered in June.

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