Building US Ag Exports - One BRIC at a Time

Published on: 18:32PM Jul 26, 2012

We periodically quote publication issued by the Kansas City Federal Reserve.  Last month, they issued a report entitled "Building U.S. Agricultural Exports: One BRIC at a Time".  The report is only 10 pages long, but has a lot of good information.

Here is a recap of what I found interesting:

  • A chart showing the amount of meat consumption on a daily basis was shown.  The US is right at the top (along with Argentina most likely) with about 40 grams per day.  Of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), Brazil was the largest at about 30, then Russia at 20, China at about 17 and India was less than 2 grams per day.
  • The increase in meat consumption is higher for lower income nations as their income rises.  For example, if mean income increases by 1%, in low income nations, their meat consumption goes up by .78% while higher income nations, it only goes up by .36%.
  • More than 50% of high income nation's food supply is packaged, while low income nations, it is less than 25%.
  • We spend $144 per year on soft drinks while the BRIC's spend only $33 per year
  • We consume an average of $191 per year on fast food (my sons are well in excess of that) and middle income nations, it is less than $15 per person.
  • There seems to be four stages of Meat Imports for BRICs.  Stage 1 occurs as their income starts to rise, imports will rise.  Stage 2 is an acceleration of corn and bean imports to produce more meat, however, meat imports rise dramatically.  Stage three is accelerating corn and bean production with decelerating meat imports.  Stage 4 is where the country goes from net importer to net exporter. 
  • Brazil is now in stage 4, Russia is entering stage 3, and China appears to be repaidly moving through stage 2.  The  question is will India follow the other 3.
  • In 1990-94, our share of meat exports was 2.2%, it is now over 8%.
  • BRIC nations are boosting pork and poultry production, not beef.
  • Our share of Oilseed exports to the BRICs have increased from 2.1% in 1990-94 to about 45% now.


There is some other good information in the report, but these are my highlights.  These trends should still bode well for the American grain farmer.