USDA forecasts global beef production down but exports steady in 2020

Friday, 24 July 2020

Globally, beef exports are expected to stay in line with previous forecasts at 10.7 million tonnes in 2020. This reflects lower anticipated exports from the US and Canada being balanced by higher exports coming from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the European Union. Weaker domestic demand in Argentina and Brazil, driven by the current economic situation has increased their exportable surplus of beef. Strong Chinese demand and low currency values will continue to support export volumes. Reductions in Canadian and the US exports reflect short-term disruptions in the supply chain and reduced demand from major buyers.


Global beef production is revised down by 1% to 60.8 million tonnes due to lower than expected slaughter in Brazil, China and North America. Reduced demand and low cattle prices in Brazil are causing producers to delay slaughter whereas in North America suffered temporary processing disruptions due to COVID-19.  


Chinese demand for imported protein has remained very strong despite disruption from COVID-19 and is forecast to stay that way. China now accounts for over 43% of global pork imports and 29% of global beef imports.


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