Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Demand for Aussie Beef to Rise; Producers to Benefit from Growing US Lean Beef Market

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Demand for Aussie Beef to Rise; Producers to Benefit from Growing US Lean Beef Market

Article excerpt

AUSTRALIA'S beef industry faces brighter prospects in 2014, with strong international demand, combined with tight local supply, according to a new report released by agribusiness banking specialist, Rabobank.

The report, Beef in 2014: Demand bright, local supply tight, said the decline in beef production, particularly in lean beef in the United States, which is Australia's second largest beef export market - meant Australian product would be in demand.

However, the Rabobank report cautioned, in other less traditional markets - where cost is the primary determinant - growing competition from India should be expected, with increased local Indian supply available for export.

Additionally though, more optimistic signals were forecast in the live cattle trade, the report said, with increased demand from Indonesia welcomed, assuming supply could be sourced.

Report co-author, Rabobank animal proteins analyst Matt Costello said after a very difficult two years, Australia's beef sector would be hoping for increased returns in 2014, as supply tightened domestically and global beef demand remained strong.

"Looking ahead to 2014, the ongoing drought conditions in Australia are likely to further hinder any growth in livestock numbers," Mr Costello said.

Between January and September, total Australian cattle slaughter has been sustained throughout 2013, increasing 14%, or 842,000 head year-on-year, to 6.8million head, with the majority of the additional processing volumes attributed to cow and heifer slaughter.

Mr Costello said since January 2010, significant herd rebuilding had taken place, but the seasonal pressures of 2013 had forced producers to offload breeding stock, with total herd expectations around 28million head.

Competitor watch in 2014

EXPORTERS will see increased interest from the US, while increasing competition from India will likely limit growth in exports to a number of South East Asian and Middle Eastern markets.

Mr Costello said although beef supplies from Australia were expected to tighten in 2014, total beef production globally was forecast to remain relatively steady compared to 2013. …

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