Kirchner’s initiative has irked the country’s cattle ranchers, who have lamented their resultant inability to cash in on strong demand in the export market.
Meanwhile, the local market has become saturated, driving down beef prices as grain prices soar. Many cattle ranchers have subsequently sold their herds and begun dealing in more profitable crops such as soybeans. Some 7.4 million acres have been switched from cattle grazing to grain growing since 2005, amounting to a 10% reduction in ranchland, said Pablo Adreani, an Argentine economic analyst.