It does not receive public funding
Editor in chief:

Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram LinkedIn

Argentina: liberalized mate price, epochal change

Small producers would be penalized. Prices are feared to rise from next summer

In Argentina, the drinks market is a historic turning point: the price of mate will be totally liberalized, i.e. determined simply by the meeting of supply and demand. Thus establishes, amidst a thousand controversies, a decree recently signed by President Javier Gerardo Milei , who thus continues his liberal deregulation.

Deregulation is not expected to have any impact on shelf prices, at least in the short term. The real crux of the matter, however, lies in the fact that the value of a packet of mate leaving the factory has already undergone a correction compared to the strong devaluation of last December. There has also been no significant increase in the price paid for green leaves, which amounts to around 370 pesos per kilo placed in the dryer.

On the websites of supermarket chains, package prices vary greatly depending on the location. In Coto, a kilo of Romance Suave costs 3,720 pesos; while in Carrefour they are 3,400 pesos. In both companies the price of the Nobleza Gaucha Selección package is 3,380 pesos. The Taragüi varies between 4,290 and 3,595 pesos. The Maltese cross varies from 3,350 to 3,875 pesos. One of the cheapest is Chamigo, which costs between 2,500 and 2,575 pesos per kilo in these chains.

According to the National Institute of Yerba Mate (Inym) the decree will really produce effects starting from August, but the price of the herb could immediately rise to over 6000 pesos (6.5 euros) per kilo in shops.

Last December, as soon as he took office, President Milei signed decree 70/2023 which, among other things, deprived the Inym of the power to set reference values, thus leaving - according to the measure's detractors - more 10 thousand small producers in the Province of Misiones in a vulnerable situation.

The setting of reference prices on the basis of a grid of production costs allowed the resumption of activity and the considerable expansion of the grassland area. There are approximately 210 thousand hectares of yerba mate in Misiones and Corrientes and some analysts estimate that there will be overproduction in one or two years.

After the failure of the price session last March, farmers' representatives before the Inym insist on the need to send the information to the Ministry of Agriculture so that the corresponding premium can be issued, but others point out that the price session never could be opened due to the absence of the directors representing the industry and Corrientes.

The secretary of Industry and Productive Development of the Nation Juan Alberto Pazo , during a meeting with representatives of the production chain, clarified that the decree will only come into force when the regulatory decree is known. Until then, the secretary says, the Institute has retained its power to set prices.

lml - 39623

EFA News - European Food Agency