Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Buying meat in Argentina.... only for the rich and powerful.

Crazy isn't it. But check this out.
How much did the price of meat go up these last couple of weeks?40%
How much did the price of meat go up in the last 3 months? 80%!

Take into account that meat is our basic source of protein here, fish will cost twice as much and chicken is just as expensive as red meat.

I went to the supermarket after being in Spain and I just couldn't believe it, its like one of Matt Bracken's book, our peso is losing value like crazy.

How can it be that its more expensive to live in Argentina than in Spain, USA or any other first world country for that matter?

How come a bar of Milka chocolate costs TWICE what it costs in Europe? Want to add insult to that? Milka Chocolate sold in Latin America is junk made in Brazil, you can hardly call it chocolate. Buy it in Europe and it not only costs half as much, its made in Europe, probably France, and tastes like a little bit of heaven.

So I look at all this with a mixture of feelings: Horrified of seeing how bad things are getting, also kind of curious in a twisted kind of way, wondering how longer we can keep living like this. Also a feel of urgency to relocate somewhere else, quickly.

Meanwhile our president said it herself, after the scandal of her husband (ex president), buying 2 million dollars cash, and not being capable of explaining the origin of such money "My husband is suffering the consequences of doing things legally".
Good for them that they rarely ever do so, and thanks for the advice Ms. President!
And to add the final touch of syrup to this bizarre mess, you turn on the TV and see our country's best bud, Chavez, walking around the streets in Venezuela, pointing with his finger at different buildings, yelling "Takeover!" as he walks, selecting the ones he'll steal from their rightful owners.

Its one crazy world we live in these days.



Wyn Boniface said...

Because the West buys all your agriculture output at a cheap price point. The nation is exporting as much as they can from your nation. This leaves a scarcity and the prices go up locally.

Malcolm said...

Just keep going to mass, stay in a state of grace.


Loquisimo said...

Fernando, did you see my comments on much the same thing happening with meat in the USA, over on Grab The Apple?


150% more in six months for an inferior product. So far, beef is still somewhat affordable here, but not for long. I've been eating a lot of inferior meat, such as Spam and hot dogs. Argentina is the place where they lost all the cows due to the drought, well this is the result.

Patrick said...

The peso is devalueing like any other EM currency because of global credit deflation, this time around it's the unwinding of leveraged trades put on in 2009 after Obama et al. gave the "all clear" and commited to printing trillions. Ironic, isn't it, that this stimulus is resulting in another round of credit deflation? Meanwhile businesses need to keep their margins intact so they cut cost and quality in their items.

The spike in meat prices seems to be exceptional relative to other staples and can be attributed to the seasonal difficulties of the drought, if we saw six consecutive quarters of these price levels I'd concur that there's some genuine inflation going on.

My thing is, there's nowhere to run, and what I think you fail to take into account is the risk of living under a government that is not only malignant (as in the case of Chavez or the wonderful Ks) but also has the resources to really mess with you. I know you don't pay credence to "conspiracy theories" relating to published documents such as Codex Alimentarius or Agenda 21, but you should consider that brutes killing your family is just one side of the coin, a cybernetically empowered fascist oligarchy is the other.

Argentina's less populated areas can be a good option, considering that nowhere will be safe in the next few years, you'll have some ratio of petty and not-so-petty criminals to defend yourself against. Dependence on a monetary economy is a poor strategy unless you're in a global business with high upside potential, otherwise you should relocate to a lower pop. density area and get into the local economy. Your notion that people would be wasting their time spending their days in the field pasturing animals or tending to vegetables is only true when fiat currencies retain their purchasing power.

russell1200 said...

Well your most noble pres finally did get her hands on the pension funds. Mind you I am not sure that that is much worse than what we have been up to with the bankster bail outs. It's just that our Chief Bankster was a willing partner from the start.

Uncle George said...

Inflation seems inevitable in the coming year. Countries print money hand over fist to try to spend their way out of trouble. Common sense tells us what happens. Unfortunately the politicians see no way out, so continue to print currencies that are becoming more worthless as weeks pass by.

Anonymous said...

Sounds ripe for a revolution. No wonder the communists are taking over the University class rooms.

Don Williams said...

Re Patrick at 4:34 PM: "Your notion that people would be wasting their time spending their days in the field pasturing animals or tending to vegetables is only true when fiat currencies retain their purchasing power."
1) The world is too heavily populated now for more than a small percentage of us to live as subsistance farmers. If the national economy collapses, a lot people are going to die, in my opinion.

2) Moving from the city to a low-income farming area can be a disaster in many cases. You lose your career that you have invested much time and money in -- and your only means of earning a middle class income.

It doesn't look good on a resume to spend years on a farm. After two or three years have passed, Employers figure that you have lost your previous skill and knowledge and will be reluctant to rehire you even if the economy recovers. You have no access to retraining and educational resources on a farm unlike what you have in a city.

3) If you own the farm, you will have a hard time earning a profit, since crop prices are depressed by large corporations. At the same time,you will have large expenses -- cost of land, fertilizer, and TAXES on land. Especially if wealthy landowners plot with corrupt local officials to drive you into bankruptcy so that they can pick up your land cheaply.
And the ordinary farm worker is often among the poorest group within a country.

4) If you have a LOT of gold packed away, moving to a small town in a rural farming area can be a way to shelter from social unrest, riots etc in a city.

I don't disagree with Patrick necessarily -- he may be right if things get really bad. I'm just pointing out that ANY plan has dangers, some of them not obvious, when a nation is in disarray.

5) Throughout history,for example, government has used its military forces to confiscate food from the countryside to feed the cities.

Millions of people starved in the breadbasket Ukraine in 1932 when Stalin's Army confiscated the food --see

6) So it looks like you need to not only obtain a year's supply of food for insurance, you also need to Hide your food stockpile.

7) Also, if you are on a small farm, you basically are defenseless against any armed force of 6 or more men. Living in a small, fortified and protected town --and walking out to farmland to work each day -- may be safer.

That is the approach used in the ancient Greek city-states and Italian towns during the Middle Ages.

8) Some people try to ally themselves with a wealthy man -- a patron -- for his protection and support. He will want something in exchange , obviously, and may betray you if you are not family.

Don Williams said...

PS Note that if you have a farm in a temperate climate, your 3 months of hard work in summer is all at risk of raids, including nighttime raids, by the hungary during the harvest time.

In theory, you could build bonfires at night and sit out in the field with a rifle to protect the harvest. But those fires would also attract raiders.

IF you grow maize or bush beans, then the crop itself gives concealment to attackers.

Patrick said...

Regarding the profitability of farming, I suggest everyone read "You Can Farm" by Joel Salatin, a man who is able to run 100 hectares of pasture on a 50hr work week and earns close to 50k USD a year for that, naturally if your customer base consists of Argentines you won't be able to get 50k USD, but 50k pesos isn't out of the question. The commodity model of farming is not feasible in terms of margins and not sustainable in terms of actual net energy efficiency. However a family running 5 hectares can produce enough premium quality meat, along with half a hectare of garden, to feed themselves and sell the rest for a decent saldo. This is the fact, do the research.


Employment is a relic of the industrial age and not something you should worry about.

I agree that a lot of people are going to die. I disagree that it has to be this way, the actual chemical efficiency of the farming methods described above would allow our current population to be supported, but we're so mentally, structurally and chemically dependent on the centralized petrofuels model that mass adaptation is highly unlikely.

I intend to live, and I disagree with critical aspects of the strategy espoused by Ferfal on this site. That said, I work in a company making money internationally and plan to stick around until I can cash out significantly or things get dire, whichever comes first. I have also learned how to trade derivatives in a way that I can produce an outsized investment return with concentrated risk, takes a few years of practice to do, could be considered a survival skill as long as there is a financial system. The risk of armed groups coming to hassle me is something I've considered and my approach is to go even further out in terms of pop. density. I agree regarding towns versus large, isolated farms.

My primary disagree with Ferfal's worldview is that he discounts the NWO. That there is horrific violence conducted by stupid, brutal thugs as a path of least resistance as long as there are people is a fact; the alternative - at least envisioned by the global elite - is a discreet and civilized euthanization of the majority of the world's population through a mixture of corrupted health systems, corrupted food systems, pacifying cultural systems, economic squeezing, policy squeezing, and outright state-sponsored terror/genocide when needed, typically by proxy. This campaign has been ongoing for over a century and is starting to accelerate.

Patrick said...

Consider the smile phenomena, seen in statistics, if you are rich enough (net worth over 1 million) you can insulate yourself from risk by living in Puerto Madero, for example, having a private security detail, ect. - being in the busom of elite society. If you are far-out enough, living in Patagonia for example, there are so few people with so far to travel that you're unlikely to be bothered by government thugs or independent thugs. As you go in-between, metropolitan suberbs being one knee on the curve, the villa being right at the bottom, rural areas in satellite of pop. centers being the other knee, you're exposed to increasingly more risk in an inverse logarithmic manner. Since by definition more people are going to be in cities, you may want to take advantage of incumbent security provisions as Ferfal advises, but don't forget that you can raise chickens in your garage to hedge against economic risk as long as the government doesn't proscribe self-sufficiency. In Argentina the government is much less likely to fine you for trying to grow your own food than a European, Asian, or North American government (and make no mistake, Canada is just USA-lite). The Ukranian famine is going to repeat in the name of food safety regulations designed to protect large agrobusinesses feeding you sub-par, cancer/diabetes inducing slop.

Just trying to highlight the other dimension of this, which was a primary reason why I left the USA for Argentina. It would seem a poor trade otherwise. :P

Anonymous said...

If only the rich eat meat, & fish is more expensive, what do Argentinians eat? Rice and beans?

Is the middle class wiped out yet?

FerFAL said...

Mostly pasta, vegetables and on occasion meat of increasingly poor quality. The poor can no longer afford the famous "asados". Even for middle class, doing an asado BBQ requires considerable money.
Can't afford meat? well they eat much less of it or none at all. Already the news tlak about alternative sources of protein because of meat prices.
We've been having a poorly fed population for some time now.


FerFAL said...

50.000 pesos in Argentina per 100 hectares? come on Patrick…
Why do you think I discount new world order? I think its clear that globalization is one of the worst problems we have world wide and the systematic destruction of some countries (such as ours ) isn’t accidental, nor the globalized feel good Ikea culture.


Anonymous said...


"Employment is a relic of the industrial age and not something you should worry about. "

Granting this is true...the end of an age corresponds with social and political upheaval, i.e., revolution, yes? The farmland won't be safe in a revolution; ask the kulaks. Wage-employment may be a relic, but armies are not.


Johnny Abacus said...

By all accounts, it is relatively easy to raise rabbits indoors, if you have a room to dedicate to them.

The united nations, for example, promotes the husbandry of rabbits in developing nations as a means of cheap protein - they are one of the most efficient animals at converting plant matter into protein - and has created an excellent, free guide to rabbit husbandry.

Pat M. said...

Don't you invest in foreign exchange to keep up with inflation? Do banks have foreign currency account? In Hong Kong and other banking centers they are available.

Anonymous said...

Ferfal: Is real estate in Argentina priced in pesos or US dollars?

Don Williams said...

1) When I looked into TRULY self-sufficient farming, one of the long term problems I found was obtaining fertilizer. Things are a LOT harder when you can't take the pickup truck over to Home Depot or the Garden supply store.

The primary things needed are nitrogen, potash, and phosphorus.

2) Potash is readily available from wood ash --although you may need lime to lessen soil acidity. But nitrogen and phosphorus are a problem.

Phosphorus is obtained mostly from mining phosphate rock and grinding it up. Nitrogen is made from natural gas via a chemical process developed by a German around a hundred years ago.

3) There are relatively few natural sources which have those nutrients in high percentages -- and the ones which do --bonemeal, dried blood, fish residue,etc -- are unlikely to be available to most people in any quantity.

If you happen to live next to a slaughterhouse, you probably don't have to worry about growing beans anyway. But the rest of us will be in big trouble.

4) Yes -- you can compost low-grade organic sources but where will you obtain them in the huge quantities needed? And how will you TRANSPORT them from the source to your garden?

Gardening to LIVE isn't growing a few vegetables -- it requires high-nutrient crops which rapidly deplete the soil: Bean. Maize. Wheat.

5) Plus,at least here in the US, we have European pests like the corn (Maize) borer which the Indians never had to content with.

Plus, Note that the Indians were never able to support more than a small population on the North American continent with subsistance farming. They had to move on to new farmland every two or three years as the soil became depleted and weed infested.

Don Williams said...

1) I don't mean to sound negative, but from one viewpoint, mankind is an out of control disease which is consuming the planet.

Our technology has allowed us to breed in huge numbers without any predator to keep the herd in check.

But at the same time, our forms of government do not allow us to control birth rates in order to live within the constraints of limited natural resources and our technology. Our governments can't even raise the issue much less plan for it.

2) So our population explodes until we deplete the resources on which we depend -- at which point we will die off in large numbers from starvation, war, famine,etc.

Anonymous said...

Most of the Western counties are far below replacement population rates-the increase is almost all immigration from poor undeveloped countries. . Japan is way below replacement rate-and no immigration to make it up- they are fading away. The big increase in world populations are in undeveloped counties, especially the middle east. The US is about at a break-even point with regard to it's citizens, almost all the increase is immigration.
(replacement rate is 2.1 children per female, the .1 accounts for early mortality.)

Anonymous said...

Revolutions are the only probable result of economic collapse, and given the actions of many central governments, this seems to be near. However, FerFAL makes a great case for the continuation of the division of labor concept (its in our DNA) and the tendency of humans to congregate in cities or towns. How to plan for survival post collapse and revolution? Study the past and be flexible. Beyond that - nobody really knows with certainty. Will we all become farmers? Not likely. Will many start farming (small gardens, etc)? Yes, if only because of a lack of availability at the market. Things that happened in WWII and the Great Depression will return again. Scarcity is a great motivator.

Even in a country with a worthless currency, Argentina should be able to provide its own beef. They have the resources in terms of land, animals, feed, and demand from citizens. However, it will take time for the current economic organization (exporting most Argentinian beef) to switch to providing primarily domestic beef. In fact, that will be the great dilema for many formerly great countries - to start providing domestically what they have exported or imported for many years. Economic change, like revolution, is messy.

Should this economic collapse become global, the net exporters of food may be the best places to live. I once drove across the US "heartland", Iowa to Wyoming, about 1000 miles of continuous farmland and ranches. Someday, these kind of resources will be more important than gold or oil.

gaga said...

FerFAL said...
"50.000 pesos in Argentina per 100 hectares? come on Patrick…"

I fail to see your point here... are you claiming that 50K pesos is too much profit to be obtained from 100Ha??

As an example; one of my neighbours sold garlic worth 26.000 pesos from one Acre last year. 100Ha would have yield 6,500.00 pesos.

My field yields wheat at 5 tonne per Ha (183 bushels) which at $5 per bushel gives $4675 per Ha or $467,500 ...not a bad income from 100 Ha. (obviously costs must be deducted from the profit). Potatoes yield up to 50 tome per Ha, self for am average $250 per ton (difficult, blight succeptable though).

Anonymous said...

I read the article and even those inflated prices for meat, especially chicken are far lower than here in the US. I did the math and chicken is something like 73 cents per pound. That's a pretty good price!