While the official data on inflation for March is expected this afternoon, which according to economists will be around 7% up, statistics say that food prices have had a significant impact in the evolution of the consumer price index (CPI) last month.
Meat -a staple of the Argentine diet- maintained an upward trend started in February because it had risen below general inflation in the previous months. Within the category (meats), the food that has been staked with maximum magnification It was the chicken: it became twice as expensive as beef, climbing 31% and 13.5% respectively.
According to a report by the Center for Political Economy of Argentina (CEPA), in March there was “a heterogeneous impact of increases in relation to different cuts of beef. The “expensive cuts” were the ones that increased the most: 14.5%. The “intermediate” and “cheap” cuts, on the other hand, recorded an increase of 13.9% and 13.1% respectively.
Furthermore, according to this survey, the increase in prices varied according to the marketing channel: “In contrast, in the month of February, the average price of beef in supermarkets showed an increase of 18% compared to February, exceeding the 5 points increases the beef in butcher shop (12.7%)”, takes note of the report. However, the cheapest reductions of the fair prices apply in the gondolas.
When assessing the evolution of the price of beef substitute products, the chicken stood out for the level of leavening. “Recorded a sharp increase of 31% in March, (with the exception of February 2023, chicken has had 10 consecutive months with average increases that exceed the average increases for beef),” he points out.
“The indicator that usually represents this process and that connects the evolution of the price of the roast compared to the price of the chicken, (the price gap) shows a year-to-date decline reaching 2.87% in January 2023, the lowest value in the last two years. “In February it resumes an upward curve, reaching 3.57% due to the sharp increase in beef relative to chicken, and in March it stands at 3.09% due to the increase in chicken”, explains Hernan Letcher, economist of the SUBJECT TO TENSION.
In other words, if you analyze the kilos of fresh chicken that can be bought with a kilo of the most consumed cut of beef, such as the roast, you notice that the roast has greatly appreciated compared to the chicken. The gap between the two products reached 4.04 kilograms in December 2021. This ratio shortened a year later, reaching a differential of 3.09 in the third month of the year.
“In annual terms, the changes in beef cuts are less than the estimated accumulated inflation (102.7%),” Letcher clarifies.
Among other reasons, the price increases are explained by the reduction in the consumption of beef In recent years it has been replaced by other cheaper types of meat, such as poultry or pork. According to the industry report of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, per capita consumption of beef stood at 49 kilos per year in March Per inhabitant.
In April, food prices they continued to deepen their uptrenda, with average increases of 7% per month, according to consultants. During the first week of this month, according to Eco Go surveys, beef increased by 1.5%, while substitutes such as chicken, pork and fish increased in those few days by 2.6%, 4% and 3.4% respectively.
Charles Arterburn is a seasoned business journalist for News Rebeat, where he provides comprehensive coverage of the latest trends and developments in the world of finance and economics.