Argentine beef prices are expected to climb next year after rising 13% before the holidays, when consumption peaks in the world’s largest red-meat-eating country, a farm group said.

Cattle shortages and drought are boosting year-end beef prices, Arturo Llavollol, a board member at the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute, said in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires. Recent cattle prices were 4.18 pesos ($1.15) per kilo at Argentina’s largest cattle market, the Mercado de Liniers in Buenos Aires, up from 3.69 pesos a month earlier.

Cattle breeders are cutting production because the government has restricted exports and attempted to regulate prices since late 2005, Llavallol said. The South American country’s cattle herd has declined in the past year as the worst drought in a century harmed pastures.

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