World meat industry news

All news / Global Beef Production Expected to Rise

  • 21 Oct 2016, 09:34

The latest Daily Livestock Report, published by Steiner Consulting Group, continues with summaries and key points regarding global beef and boiler markets, as reported by the recent USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) publication “Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade”.

Starting with beef, FAS forecasts global production to increase about 1 per cent in 2016 and another 1 per cent in 2017 to 61.3 million tons. This is on expanding supplies from the US and South America.

Australian beef production is expected to decrease the most, as rain in 2016 has incentivised producers to retain female cattle and expand the herd.

Exports by major traders are forecast to be up 3 per cent in 2017 to 9.7 million tons, on increased shipments to Asia. China remains the fastest growing beef market, helped by the reopening of its market to Argentina and Brazil. South Korea remains a strong importer, and Japan does also although to a lesser extent.

The FAS publication included a more detailed article on beef production in Australia, key points are summarised here, but it is a recommended read.

Reduced market competition from Australia due to their tightened cattle supplies is expected to continue in 2017 and will benefit US beef exports. The FAS report says herd recovery in Australia could take until the end of the decade.

The herd liquidation in Australia in 2014 and 2015, due to drought, occurred through increased cattle slaughter and increased live cattle exports. Cattle slaughter reached its peak in 2014 at 9.9 million head, the highest since the 1970s.

Live animal exports were a record 1.3 million head in both 2014 and 2015, and are mostly shipped to Indonesia, South East Asia, and the Middle East.

Some production comments regarding Australia reported about two thirds of Australian beef production is grass fed due to the cost advantage in grazing versus purchased feed. Grain fed cattle production in Australia has been increasing though due to Asian demand for grain fed beef.

For perspective though, in 2015 grain fed marketings in Australia totalled 2.9 million head, 30 per cent of their total cattle slaughter. In 2015, in the US, marketings of steers and heifers totalled 23 million head, 85 per cent of which were grain fed.

Moving on to comments regarding broiler meat, global production is forecast to increase 1 per cent to 90.4 million tons in 2017. Increases in production from the US, Brazil, India, and the EU offset declines in production from China.

Exports by major traders are forecast to be up 5 per cent to 11.4 million tons. Shipments from the top two suppliers (Brazil and the US) are expected to grow, but more so from Brazil due to access to the Chinese market and the weaker Brazilian currency, the real.