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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 31 July 2013

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Wednesday 31st July 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Big Exports Not Helping Weather Hit Cattlemen

Higher beef exports are not helping producer margins in Australia, which are down year on year for the 2012-13 season.

Average income declines have been confirmed at 15 per cent lower than the previous season, putting a halt to gains made over 2011-12, an Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences study has concluded.

The report categorises farms by size and region – north and south. A small beef unit in Australia consists of 100-400, medium 400-1600, large 1,600-5,000 and very large >5,400 head.

Greatest cash income falls were seen in larger units whereas medium sized holdings saw income rise by 21 per cent. Specialist beef producers fared better overall, posting average losses of four per cent on the previous year, roughly AUS$ 52,000 per farm.

Losses can be attributed to weak cattle prices as input costs have mounted in the light of ‘poor seasonal conditions’, according to market analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia.

Critical drought conditions inland, east coast flooding and widespread wildfires plagued Australian cattlemen through the first half of the year.

Emergency loans and forage donation schemes have been orchestrated by territory and national government to support struggling businesses.

While farmers struggled to move cattle to grass and buy in feed, slaughterhouses became increasingly busy dealing with rising throughput as farmers resorted to early slaughter, particularly in Queensland.

Average eastern state slaughter numbers rose by 18 per cent year on year for April and May.

The industry then opted to push the resulting beef glut to foreign markets, causing May beef exports records to be smashed after six of waiting.

The previous monthly record, set in November 2006, was beaten by over 8,000 tonnes and crossed the 100,000 tonne threshold for the first ever time.

This was despite a reinvigorated US beef industry targeting the newly available Japanese market, Australia’s biggest beef buyer, following trading approval in the New Year relating to bovine spongiform encephalopathy fears.

Dr Emerson, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness in Australia stressed the attributes of many of Australia’s export destinations as markets of ‘huge opportunity’.

Expanding middle classes in China, South Korea and Japan, are prompting Australian trade officials to increase personnel in developing trade channels into such countries.

However, ABARES statistics show that little benefit from increased trading is filtering down to producer level.

Their producer outlook for the coming year is for ‘increased financial pressure’ on farm businesses as land values fall with incomes.

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Manage Animals Carefully to Cope With Heat Stress and Fair Seasons
Check your stock for excessive salivation, bunching of animals and trembling as Nebraska hosts hot weather, advises Lindsay Chichester of University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

Local Meat and Poultry Processing: The Importance of Business Commitments for Long-Term Viability
Through the use of case studies, Lauren Gwin, Arion Thiboumery and Richard Stillman of the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service identify the factors that contribute to a successful business relationship for the welfare of businesses in the meat chain.

Rigorous Heifer Health Regime Key To High Conception Rates
Conception rates have been poor across Scotland recently, but George and Fiona Gordon say that having health as a priority has helped conception rates in their cross bred Limousine herd in the highlands.

Breeding for Animal Welfare
Chickens that do not peck each other to death, sheep with fewer maggots in their tails and double-muscled cows that can give birth naturally. Wageningen researchers are working on breeding programmes targeting animal welfare, reports Nienke Beintema in the latest issue of Wageningen World.

Market Reports

EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 26 July 2013
USDA GAIN: Paraguay Livestock and Products Annual 2013
Irish CSO: Livestock Slaughterings - June 2013
USDA Livestock Slaughter - July 2013
Total Factor Productivity of the UK Food Chain: 2000-2011 - Revised Estimates

Global Beef Industry News

   United States

CME: Futures Continue Sideways Trend as Traders Wait on Cash Signals, Tuesday
NFU Joins Suit to Support COOL
Demand Prospects for Old Crop and New Crop Soybeans
CME: Cattle Futures Close Slightly Higher, Monday
Wyckoff's Weekly Market Forecast: Cool Temps Push Grain Markets Lower
Poll Shows Consumers Think Retailer Should Stop Selling Meat from Antibiotic-fed Animals
CME: June Commercial Hog Slaughter Lower Than a Year Ago
NFU Signs Coalition Letter Supporting Competitive Rail Markets
Weekly Cattle Summary: Feedlot Heifer Data, A Sign of Herd Rebuilding
CME: Futures Trade Higher, Friday
Legislation Introduced to Prevent EPA from Releasing Producer Information
CME: China Beef Buying Grows 1750 per cent
What Did the US Cattle-on-Feed Report Really Tell Us?
CME: Futures Lift as Traders React to Higher Beef Prices, Thursday
CME: Choppy Trade Sees August Cattle Close Down 32 Cents
Agri-Pulse Update: US Farm Bill Moves Forward
Western Ohio Manure Application Technology Field Day July 31st
Heavy Placements and Slow Marketings Could Spell Trouble Ahead
CME: Pressure From Corn and Hogs Lifts Cattle Futures, Tuesday
Feedlot Slaughterings Will be Front Loaded
Beef Industry About to Make a Slow Turn
Opposition Voiced to FDA Salmonella Opinion Change
Boyle to Step Down as AMI President


Australian Cattle Markets See Higher Numbers, Tuesdays
Red Meat Exports to China Boom
Beef Farm Cash Incomes Fall
MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary
Flooded Farmers Have More Time to Apply for Assistance
Cattle Indicator Lifts 4.25 Cents, Wednesday


Vet Recruitment Plans to Address Under-staffing


Norwegian Fodder Crisis Leads to Culling

   United Kingdom

Key Performance Indicators Show Lower Calf Registrations
UK Food Economy Task Force Launched
LMC: Value of Northern Ireland's Meat Sales Increasing
LMC: Factories May Need to Raise Quotes to Secure Supply
Who Should Set Food Safety, Health, Welfare Rules in the EU?
Interim Report Explores Farming Without Supports
Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Eradication Scheme Update
Decrease in Carcase Covers in 2nd Quarter
BBSRC Welcomes UK Agricultural Technology Strategy


Brasil Foods Sees Revenue Rise
Brazilian Meat Production to Expand


Semen Exports Up 17 Per Cent

   European Union

Knowledge Transfer Group Aims to Mitigate Methane Emission at European Level
Executive Director Resigns from EFSA
EU Considers Meat Labelling Relating to Stunning Method


Food Safety Reforms Could Give Agriculture a Competitive Edge
Government Support for Agriculture Innovation
New Beef Label Could Solve Grass-fed Confusion
Improved Livestock Efficiency, Increased Crop Yields Help Improve Phosphorus Balance


Expert: US Energy Prices to Fall by 20 to 30 Per Cent by 2016
EU-Colombia Trade Agreement in Place
Meat Sector Goes on the Offensive
Nutreco Reports Higher Revenue in H1 of 2013
Cow Prices Impacted by U.S. and World Weather
IFIF Launches Feed Ingredient Report
Greater EU-China Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture

   Russian Federation

Breeding Regimes Vital For Sector Development
Belgium and Omsk Join Forces


Tick Policy Introduces Provincial Monitoring
Argentinean Beef Exports Production Increase


Planting For Hope: Where Sustainable Agriculture Saves Communities


Ukrainian Ag Sector Continues to Increase Performance


Thailand Successfully Opens Market for US Swine and Cattle


Chinese Food Prices Affected by Weather


Development Organisation Recognised for Cooperative Work

   New Zealand

Survey Finds Improvement in Farmer Confidence


Changes in Mexico-U.S. Cattle and Beef Trade Flows


Industry Demands More Calves


The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
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