Beef was on sale to the public in Uruguay this month after a four-month freeze on domestic consumption to reserve beef for export markets.
Beef was on sale to the public in Uruguay this month after a four-month freeze on domestic consumption to reserve beef for export markets. The ban ended in mid-November and beef began appearing in Montevideo shops on Friday (17 November). The ban was imposed in July by President Juan Maria Bordaberry in efforts to increase Uruguay's export earning and improve a substantial foreign debt.
It was an unpopular measure and the disappearance of beef led to protests from trade union leaders, strikes and at one stage the closure of shops by small businessmen. Grocers and butchers protested about the shortage of beef substitutes as well as low prices for other foodstuffs. Food prices are fixed by the Government in Uruguay.
Beef exports have traditionally been important to Uruguay which has been able to rely on a ready market in the principal European tourist countries, especially Greece, Italy and Spain.
The end of the ban on domestic sales coincides with the start of Uruguay's summer tourist season.
The domestic shortage of beef in favour of overseas markets has been a problem in several other South American countries. Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru also imposed bans on the domestic sale of beef to varying degrees.