The data is positive for Argentina’s slaughterhouses. But some of them are close to disaster: slaughterhouses located in the Santa Fe province have their warehouses full of raw hides. Data from the National Control Directorat Commercial Agricultural shows that how the number of unites processed in 2022 increased by 18.4% on yearly basis, while the number of bovines slaughtered increased by 11%. IN detail, in December 2022 1.22 million bovine units were processed, up 7.4% compared to the same period of 2021.
Warehouses are full of raw hides
According to the analysis of portal Valor Agro, the top-10 slaughterhouses in Argentina processed 3.84 million units in 2022, equal to 28% of the nation’s total. But it’s the enterprises themselves, especially those in the Santa Fè province, that are claiming a hygiene-health issue. Tanneries aren’t purchasing the raw hides stored in refrigerators. The situation, states Sebastián Bendayán of the Federación de Industrias Frigoríficas Regionales Argentinas (FIFRA), has been continuing since 2022 and has to do with about half of all slaughterhouses. Argentina’s tanneries also have too much stock, and thus cannot make more purchases. Allegedly, one kilogram of material has a price of between 2 and 3 pesos, depending on the distance between tannery and sellers.
The issue is cyclical in Argentina, where duties strongly disincentivize the export of raw hides. In 2020 duties were suspended for 60 days by the Ministry for Agriculture, as the general accumulation of raw hides had become a health and environmental risk. Slaughterhouses claim to be able to salt and stock the hides for the time being, and until the market will have reorganized itself. But the solution is only temporary, and a structured response from the Argentine government is needed to fix the situation.