Where's the Beef?

Published on: 19:55PM Nov 11, 2014

Yesterday, I posted on work pork production. Today I will recap world beef production (again from the 2014 Agricultural Symposium). Here are some of the key points:

  • Total beef production has held steady between 56 and 59 million metric tons over the last 10 years (about half of total pork production).
  • US produces about 11 million tons with Brazil slightly behind at around 10 million tons. The EU-27 countries produce slightly less than 8 million tons while China is a distant fourth at slightly less than 6 million tons.
  • Brazil is the number one exporter at 2 million metric tons with India slightly behind (they raise them, but don't eat them). Australia is number 3 at about 1.5 million tons with the US in 4th place at slightly more than 1 million metric tons. Total exports are about 9.5 million metric tons in total.
  • The number 1 importer is Russia and the US tied at about 1 million metric tons. Japan is third.
  • India's exports have increased fourfold over the last 10 years.
  • China used to produce more beef than they consume. However, over the last few years, they consume more than they produce.
  • Brazil's production is increasing at a rate slower than their consumption.
  • Total Beef export values are about $9 billion per year, however, the US also imports about $6 billion on an annual basis.
  • Beef inventories have declined 11% from 2007 to 2014. Only five states (North and South Dakota, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania) have seen increases in inventories.

I know my perception is that world beef production was greater than world pork production, but as you can see, the world raises and consumes a lot more hogs than cattle. I think that trend will continue.