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Rabobank: Beef to Lead US Animal Protein Production Growth

25 August 2016

ANALYSIS - Expect ups and downs for beef, pork and poultry industries over the next few years, but production growth will be led by beef, according to a new report from Rabobank.


The leader in production growth over the next few years is likely to be beef. Starting in 2016, herd rebuilding finally started to drive increased beef production but will accelerate into 2018 and 2019.

Heifer retention and cow herd expansion during the last few years will lead to a 4 per cent increase in beef production by 2017. With the favourable price environment, beef production growth is expected to continue through 2020 but at variable rates.

Rabobank expects US beef trade opportunities for exports and imports to be mixed.

  • A flood of Australian beef trimmings entering the market have doubled in the last two years amid drought conditions in Australia.
  • With Australia reaching a trough in its cattle herd and its beginning efforts to restock, Australian beef exports will decline by double digits in the available lean beef supply in the US, as well as drive export opportunities, most notably to Southeast Asian markets.
  • Q1 2016 US beef exports to Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong are all up by double digits and expected to continue.
  • A new source of competition, for both international market share and domestic consumption, is South America - mainly Brazil and Argentina. Both are approved for US export but are held up by a lack of approved plants and available quota.
  • It's only a matter of time before South American beef finds its way onto the US market, becoming a serious competitor to domestic production.

Sarah Mikesell, Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell, Senior Editor

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