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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 15 April 2015

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Wednesday 15th April 2015.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Novus International

MSD Animal Health

Roller Coaster for Global Beef Markets

The Russian ban on exports of meat and agricultural products from the EU is starting to bite with the EU beef market showing signs of fragility and decline.

A recent meeting between the head of the beef working party at the EU farming group Copa Cogeca and the European Commission stressed the concerns that are rising in Europe with the loss of one of the main beef export markets.

Beef prices in Russia have been described as high, as there have only been small increases in imports from Brazil, Argentina and Belarus and these have not did not compensated for the effects of the Russian import ban.

According to the chairman of Copa-Cogeca’s beef working party, Jean Pierre Fleury it is becoming more and more essential that the EU finds new markets.

Consumption in the EU is starting to stagnate and the beef market could be further disrupted by the changes that are coming in the dairy market as the effect of the loss of quotas if felt.

While there are concerns mounting in the European beef sector, in Australia and New Zealand there are also concerns over the increase in production.

Australian beef production has risen year-on-year for the 29th consecutive month with February levels reaching 216,821 tonnes, a rise of six per cent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that two factors have driven the increase in beef production.

Firstly, as dry conditions persisted across much of the country in February, slaughter continued at historically high levels, with 768,276 head processed across the month, a rise of three per cent year-on-year.

Secondly, average carcase weights rose by two per cent, to 282kg/head, possibly because the portion of males making up the kill increased from 49 per cent, in February last year, to 50 per cent.

With a large number of females being taken out of the herd the concern is about keeping up herd numbers.

In New Zealand, a high and early cattle processing season – particularly in relation to cull cows – and strong global demand for beef has seen a surge on the export markets.

This increase in shipments was mainly due to consistent high monthly volumes exported to the two main markets for New Zealand beef – the US and China – while volumes to other main markets decreased.

Estimates in the US are for a higher availability on the domestic market and an increase in imports while domestic production is expected to be down.

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Market Reports

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