The Argentinian government has backed away from further cuts to its beef exports. Self-imposed

restrictions mean exports this year have already fallen to half the 2005 volume.

There was speculation that another cut was necessary to keep the lid on domestic beef prices, but officials have decided to stabilise the market by extending current restrictions until 31 May. The country will continue exporting high-quality and hindquarter cuts of beef and cooked meat to the EU and UK.

Peter Hardwick, export manager for the MLC, said: "Uncertainty in export levels was unsettling for retailers."