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Strong Global Beef Demand, Report

A new report released by Rabobank forecasts the global beef industry to remain strong, with growth expected to come from the Chinese market.

Globally, we are seeing higher beef prices due to drought conditions in the United States and extreme weather conditions in Brazil and Australia. All three countries are considered key beef exporters.

“Brazilian cattle prices and exports have surged to record levels, and Australian droughts have encouraged historically high slaughter levels to meet global demand,” said Rabobank analyst Albert Vernooij.

Regional Outlook Highlights:

• United States: Rabobank identifies volatility as the biggest factor impacting the U.S. cattle supplies in the first quarter of 2014. The presence and growing spread of the pig virus known as PED will have an impact on meat supplies, which will position beef favorably heading into the summer months.

• Australia: Slaughter volumes remain high due to bad weather conditions. Weather is expected to continue to be drier than normal, impacting cattle herd sizes.

• Brazil: Domestic demand is expected to increase because of the World Cup and presidential elections.

• New Zealand: The high NZ dollar is putting pressure on returns.

• Canada: The long winter has increased feed usage of cattle. It also appears as though farmers and ranchers aren’t interested in herd expansion at this time.

• Argentina: Exports are expected to remain low, as the government puts limits on exports.

• China: Imports are expected to rise, especially for frozen beef. Most of this volume is expected to come from Australia.

• Mexico: The domestic beef industry is expected to continue to have tight margins.

• EU: Beef supply in the U.S. is expected to remain stable, with an increase of approximately 10 per cent.

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