|From an Economist Magazine newsletter:|
Argentina releases its monthly report on consumer prices today. High inflation is a persistent problem for the country. In April, the year-on-year figure was a staggering 40.3%.
Food costs play a significant role in Argentina’s inflation, and attempts to reduce them have pushed the government into a bitter battle with the farmers who supply the country’s famous bife. Last month Alberto Fernández, Argentina’s president, slapped a 30-day ban on meat exports. The country is the world’s fifth-largest exporter of beef and Mr Fernández hoped a glut would help freeze domestic prices. His plan temporarily backfired when the cattlemen went on strike, reducing supply, and prices rose. They have since levelled off.
The government must decide whether to extend or re-work the ban to allow some exports. Producers warn that thousands of jobs are at stake if the president does not stop trying to cure the meat market for his own ends.