FAO forecasts higher 2007 global beef production

AUSTRALIA - According to the December 2006 Food Outlook, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), while a strong recovery in Asian beef consumption and imports in 2007 is likely to support grain-fed beef prices, overall world beef price rises are expected to be moderated by increased South American exportable supplies.
calendar icon 5 January 2007
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World beef production is forecast by FAO to increase nearly 3% in 2007, to 67.5 million tonnes, with the increase largely in response to the prospect of higher beef prices. Most of the production gains, with the exception of China, are expected in many of the export-oriented countries in North and South America. Beef production is anticipated to rise in South America as FMD-related trade restrictions are lifted, with Argentine beef production anticipated to be boosted by an easing of the partial export bans put in place in 2006 to curb domestic inflation.

FAO notes that a lifting of import bans on beef from Brazil and North America – who supply over 40% of global beef shipments – is expected to boost beef trade by 9% in 2007. A double digit increase in Asian imports is anticipated, particularly to China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. US imports of low quality cuts are also anticipated to rise as herd rebuilding is expected to constrain domestic output, with the increased demand expected to be met by higher shipments of manufacturing grade beef from Oceania.

FAO forecast global sheep meat production will rise 2.7% to 13.8 million tonnes in 2007, with most of the growth expected to occur in Asia, particularly China, India, Iran and Pakistan, which account for nearly 60% of global production. Production in the major exporting region of Oceania is anticipated to be higher due to drought-induced slaughter in Australia, while in Argentina and Uruguay government programmes aimed at reviving the sector are anticipated to increase output. Global sheep meat exports are forecast to rise nearly 5% in 2007, to 855,000 tonnes, boosted by an increase in exportable supplies from Australia.

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