How India Looks on the Beef Export Front

INDIA – Established beef traders are to meet 'stiff competition' for market shares in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia, from cheaper and socially preferred alternatives.
calendar icon 16 October 2013
clock icon 2 minute read

One origin of competition looks likely to be India, where halal preferences are catered for and an abundance of cheap meat is provided, according market experts at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Steve Meyer and Len Steiner have said that, despite the current foot and mouth disease status of the country, India’s potential future effects on the global beef trade could be marked.

The pair stated that India has the largest bovine herd in the world with numbers at an estimated 327 million head, of which 210 million are the cattle and the remainder buffaloes.

“There are two reasons for having bovines in India, milk production and draft power –most rural families own one or two,” said Scott Meyer. “But as herds have expanded in recent years and domestic beef consumption is minimal due to Indian religion, the supply for beef has expanded.”

This expansion largely relates to water buffalo meat which has been accepted by large Muslim countries with halal standards, where India is the largest supplier of beef.

Brazil is the second option in Middle Eastern countries, said Mr Meyer, adding that US exports remain relatively small.

He said India also looks set to send more beef to China and, for the time being, foot and mouth issues are the only major thing holding back Indian beef breaking into Japan.

“For now, disease issues prevent Indian beef from breaking in markets such as Japan,” he said. “But future demand growth is in the developing world, and those are markets that India is already successfully competing in.”


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