Results from Argentina’s primaries were out today and, if the October elections are to be based on them, we are in for a return of a government that really wasn’t particularly fond of its agricultural sector. And the sentiment was most certainly reciprocated, as you can see from this Bichos de Campo blog post earlier today, and farmers in Argentina are clearly fearing what’s next for them.
That nonewithstanding, Argentina is one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of a varied range of agricultural products. And it’s a world-leader in livestock and especially in genetics: it breeds some of the finest animals in the world and produces world-famous beef.
It is a joy to visit La Rural, the Palermo (Buenos Aires) – based show that attracts the creme de la creme of “ganadería” (livestock) in the region, not just the country. A sector that will feel the pressure now, while it is still trying to navigate the implications of the EU/Mercosur agreement (with the other three livestock powerhouses of Brazil, Uruguay and, now also, Paraguay).
There is a lot to be written about the agricultural sector in Argentina. From the viewpoint of British exporters, there are many possibilities if you focus on the segment that exports and therefore needs to compete globally and, particularly in the EU, with high-standards. Again, remember these are world-class producers that have seen it all, so it’s important to understand what they need, to innovate, and also to understand how they work. A farm in Argentina probably has very little to do with a farm in the UK. Pastures in Santa Fe province will be different from those in the Buenos Aires province, and so on. It is also absolutely critical to understand the context (macroeconomic, political, etc) that your potential clients are working in (high volatility, uncertainty, devaluation, high unemployment, taxes, etc). Argentina, and its agricultural sector, can be great for those British exporters that understand all this, but it’s certainly not for beginners.
I leave you now with some pictures of the Palermo show, thanking Argentina-based consultant and market analyst Matías Sara for his guidance and input.