Strong expansion by India and to a lesser extent, Brazil and Argentina more than offsets lower production forecast for the United States and the EU.
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U.S. Long Term Decline Accelerates
The world’s largest beef producer, the United States, is forecast to tumble 4 percent to 11.3 million tons. Tight supplies of cattle available for slaughter persist on declining inventories triggered by recent years’ sharp reductions in the calf crop and reduced imports of live animals.
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Mexico Follows Similar Decline
Mexico’s production is forecast 1 percent lower to 1.8 million tons largely on reduced supplies of slaughter-ready cattle although high feed prices and marginal pasture conditions will also limit weight gains.
EU Downward Trend Continues, Albeit at a Slower Rates
EU production is forecast to fall 1 percent to 7.7 million tons on increasing input costs and reductions in government support, despite increased efficiency. This reduction is a continuation over the past decade during which production fell 7 percent. The dairy herd is also shrinking due to increased milk production efficiency as smaller and less efficient farms exit the industry. Although continuing genetic improvements and the fading effects of the bluetongue disease are expected to raise reproductive efficiency, they are not expected to offset the decline in the breeding herd.
Steep Production Decline for Korea
Korea’s production is forecast to drop 10 percent to 301,000 tons. A drop in live cattle prices and the implementation of government policy to reduce the cattle inventory by encouraging cow slaughter resulted in a production surge in 2012. This will negatively impact the availability of slaughter-ready cattle in 2013 and reduce beef production.
click image to zoomUSDA India’s Surge Forecast to Continue
India’s bovine herd continues to expand in response to strong demand for dairy products, resulting in a 1 percent growth forecast during 2013 to almost 330 million head. Private sector investment has led to notable improvements in dairy management practices, including extension services, veterinary care and improved genetics. Rain deficits causing failed crops in parts of India during 2012 (Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan) have led farmers to focus on dairying.