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USDA Livestock & Poultry: World Markets & Trade

19 April 2012

USDA Livestock & Poultry: World Markets & TradeUSDA Livestock & Poultry: World Markets & Trade

India is forecast to become the world’s leading beef exporter in 2012 due to an expanding dairy herd, efficiency improvements, increased slaughter and price-competitiveness in the international market particularly vis-à-vis Brazil.
USDA Livestock & Poultry: World Markets & Trade

India Fuels Growth in World Beef Trade

India’s exports are exclusively deboned frozen buffalo meat (carabeef) which is included in USDA’s global estimates of beef (bovine) meat production. According to the most recent Indian Livestock Census (2007), buffalo comprise approximately one-third of the bovine herd. Buffalo are preferred to cattle due to their adaptability to climatic conditions and high milk fat content as dairy production fuels the bovine sector. Federal law prohibits the slaughter of all cattle (male and female ) as well as productive (in milk) bovines (cattle and buffalo). Thus beef/carabeef production is driven by buffalo slaughter which is allowed, albeit restricted to males and unproductive females.

Export sales have made significant inroads in the Middle East,North Africa and Southeast Asia (key Brazilian markets) as all carabeef is lower priced and produced according to halal standards. Further, carabeef is lean, with positive blending characteristics important to processors. In 2012, additional export orientated slaughterhouses are expected to come on line, increasing supplies.

Production gains are largely destined for the export market. Domestic demand is constrained by cold-chain facilities and consumer preference for non-bovine proteins such as poultry products, dairy products and pulses therefore merely keeping pace with population growth.

Summary: Major Traders and US Trade of Beef, Pork, and Poultry


Global beef production in 2012 is virtually unchanged from the last forecast at 57.0 million tons. The export forecast is revised 497,000 tons higher to a record 8.7 million tons fueled by India, Columbia, Australia and New Zealand coupled with historical revisions to Belarus and Pakistan which resulted in an increased forecast. Imports by Venezuela, Russia and the United States are raised on stronger demand that is unmet by domestic supplies. U.S. beef production is lowered slightly; exports remain virtually unchanged.

There have been historical revisions to the supply-demand balances for several countries on the basis of new data and are detailed in the Notes to Readers.

World Production Virtually Unchanged as Only India Achieves Significant Gains

India is forecast significantly higher (220,000 tons) to 3.5 million tons based on an expanding dairy herd, increased slaughter and price-competitiveness in the global meat market particularly vis-à-vis Brazil. As exports account for 44 percent of production, growth in exports underpins production increases.

Australia’s production is increased slightly to 2.2 million tons on improved pasture conditions and fodders supplies resulting in historically high carcass weights. New Zealand is also revised higher to 652,000 tons as improved pasture conditions late last year delayed some slaughter until 2012 and boosted carcass weights.

South Korea is revised upward to 340,000 tons on higher slaughter reflecting large inventories, low cattle prices, elevated feed costs and the government’s plan to slaughter lower-performing cows.

The United States is forecast slightly higher to 11.5 million tons as cattle placed on feed in late 2011 due to drought are marketed in early 2012. Both the 2011 and 2012 calf crops are revised lower; the 2011 calf crop is the smallest since 1950.

Russia is lowered 45,000 tons to 1.3 million tons as profitability in the dairy industry, of which beef is a byproduct, encourages producers to hold back cows and heifers.

Egypt’s recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) results in a downward revision to 280,000 tons.

Venezuela is revised lower to 285,000 tons offset by increased imports to fulfill demand.

World’s Largest Beef Exporter: India

India’s exports are revised 250,000 tons higher to 1.5 million tons making it the world’s leader. Expanding demand from price sensitive importers, primarily in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa have bolstered an increase in the number of export orientated slaughterhouses. India’s FMD status remains a significant hurdle to expanding their market access.

Increased production in Australia and New Zealand will boost supplies and exports are raised to 1.4 million tons and 544,000 tons, respectively. Strong U.S. demand, particularly for manufacturing beef, will outweigh the higher Australian dollar and support higher exports to the United States.

Columbia’s renewal of trade relations with Venezuela will enable their exports to rebound to 100,000 tons and will also bolster live cattle shipments.

Brazil’s exports are revised marginally lower to nearly 1.4 million tons as the decline in Iranian demand will only be partially offset by gains in alternative markets such as Egypt and Venezuela.

EU exports are lowered by 20,000 tons to 445,000 tons as Turkey, a key market, adjusted import tariffs to support more live cattle imports instead of beef.

World Imports Bolstered by Rising Demand

U.S. imports are raised by 166,000 tons to 1.1 million tons as tight domestic supplies, strong demand and ample Oceania supplies offset a weak dollar.

Russia’s forecast is revised up by 85,000 tons to over 1.1 million tons due to lower production and new market access conditions upon WTO accession. Revisions to historical trade estimates for Belarus generate an increase in the forecast for Russian imports.

Venezuela’s renewal of trade relations with Columbia will facilitate higher imports which are forecast to rise to 325,000 tons from October, up 125,000 tons. Supplies will also come from Brazil, and live cattle (for slaughter in Venezuela) will be sourced from both Columbia and Brazil.

As a result of increased domestic supplies, South Korea’s imports are down by 30,000 tons to 390,000 tons. U.S. shipments are expected to remain steady as a result of a weak dollar.

Taiwan’s increased ractopamine residue testing on imported beef will adversely impact imports which are dropped 25,000 tons to 100,000 tons.


Global pork production in 2012 is revised upward 924,000 tons from the last forecast to 104.4 million tons. China, the EU, and the United States account for most of the growth. Exports are raised 440,000 tons to 7.0 million tons with more demand from virtually all major importing countries. U.S. production and exports are forecast higher, while imports are lowered slightly.

There have been historical revisions to the supply-demand balances for several countries on the basis of new data and are detailed in the Notes to Readers.

World Production Raised for Nearly All Major Producers

China is forecast up 320,000 tons to 51.6 million tons as rising producer returns stimulated the use of higher quality feeds. Government supports also encourage expansion and improved swine genetics. Disease outbreaks are reportedly milder and less prevalent because of favorable weather and vaccination efforts.

EU is raised 135,000 tons to 22.6 million tons on higher than expected swine breeding efficiency, likely caused by industry restructuring.

The United States is forecast up 96,000 tons to 10.6 million tons on increased sow productivity and slightly heavier weights.

Russia is raised 80,000 tons to 2.1 million tons on expansion of modern, large-scale swine operations aided by government support. This growth outweighs lower production by small operations and private households.

Greater volumes are expected from Mexico, up 35,000 tons to 1.2 million tons, due to heavier slaughter weights brought about by improved production practices and growth from the export segment of the industry.

South Korea is down 28,000 tons to 982,000 tons as herd re-building, following the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak, is slowed by tight supplies of sows and lower breeding productivity.

World Imports Raised, Led by Russia and East Asia

Russia is up 200,000 tons to 900,000 tons reflecting greater access to more competitively priced foreign supplies under the new tariff-rate-quotas (TRQs) and less restrictive sanitary commitments mandated byWTO Accession.

China is raised 90,000 tons to 650,000 tons on strong demand unmet by domestic production.

South Korea is forecast 50,000 tons higher at 550,000 tons given slower than expected domestic production recovery. Also, the implementation of free trade agreements with the EU and the United States makes imports more competitive with domestic supplies.

Japan is raised 40,000 tons to 1.3 million tons on stronger demand from the processing sector.

Canada is raised 25,000 tons to 215,000 tons as the relatively weak dollar makes U.S. pork more competitive.

United States imports are lowered marginally to 365,000 tons.

World Exports Higher, Led by the United States and the EU

EU is revised up 250,000 tons to 2.1 million because of greater access to the Russian market following their WTO Accession. Higher volumes are expected to East Asia as a weaker Euro and Danish Kroner vis-à-vis Brazil and Canada give the EU a comparative advantage.

The United States is forecast 95,000 tons higher to 2.4 million tons on expanding East Asian and North American demand supported by a relatively weak dollar and more competitive prices.

Brazil is raised 45,000 tons to 615,000 tons due to larger shipments to Hong Kong, Ukraine, and new market access to China and the United States.


Global broiler meat production is revised downward 881,000 tons from the last forecast to 82.2 million tons as a consequence of higher feed and operating costs. World exports are virtually unchanged as an increase in the United States offsets a decrease in Brazil. U.S. production is revised downward, while exports are up.

There have been historical revisions to the supply-demand balances for several countries on the basis of new data and are detailed in the Notes to Readers.

World Production Expands Despite Challenges

India is revised higher 450,000 tons to a record 3.2 million tons. Greater vertical integration and robust demand fueled by an expanding middle-class and changing tastes and preferences support increasing production.

Argentina is revised upward 75,000 tons to a record 1.9 million tons on stronger domestic and foreign demand, despite termination of government feed subsidies.

Brazil is revised downward 352,000 tons to 13.3 million tons as a result of higher feed costs and falling demand due to an overvalued currency and sanitary restrictions by trading partners.

The United States is revised lower by 202,000 tons to 16.4 million tons as relatively higher feed costs will dampen expansion despite rising broiler meat prices.

China is revised downward to 13.7 million tons. Greater pork supplies and competitive prices are generating cutbacks in poultry production due to concerns of oversupply and weakening prices.

EU is virtually unchanged at 9.6 million tons as higher feed costs and regional economic uncertainty continue to discourage expansion.

World Exports Virtually Unchanged as United States Increase Offsets Brazil Decline

The United States is revised upward 125,000 tons to nearly 3.2 million tons. Global economic growth and a relatively weak dollar is expected to support increases in exports to a wide number of countries. The upward revision in the Russian TRQ quantity compared to the October forecast also supports greater exports.

Brazil is revised lower 150,000 tons to 3.3 million tons based on less competitive prices resulting from an appreciating currency. Russian delisting of eligible plants and South African anti-dumping duties also continue to depress shipments.

Turkey is revised higher 37,000 tons to 230,000 tons due to mounting demand from the Middle East.

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