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Argentina Farm Strike: Government Struggles To Keep Food Flowing

07 December 2006

ARGENTINA - As Argentina’s farm strike entered its fourth day, the government was scrambling Wednesday to ensure domestic meat supplies, sending in cattle from the armed forces herds and calling for political allies with farms to ship all the cattle they can to the nation’s principal meat market, Liniers.

Three of the nation’s leading farm groups are on strike until Dec. 11 in protest of government intervention in agricultural markets. The government has intervened in agricultural markets repeatedly over the past year in efforts to prevent inflation in domestic food prices in the face of surging international commodity prices.

In November, the inflation rate of food products hit 1.4%, compared to the general inflation rate of 0.7%.

Just 2,143 animals were sent to Liners Wednesday, a quarter of the normal head count, according to local press reports. Over 80% of the cattle sent in came from the armed forces, which sent 1,783 animals from the herds raised on government lands.

Only 6,000 cows have been sent to market this week, compared to the average 25,000 head sent by this time during a normal week.

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Source: Dow Jones via cattlenetwork.com


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