Meat exports forecast to rise, keeping supply stable

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beef International trade Meat Livestock

The global trade in beef, pork and poultry by major exporters is
forecast to reach record levels again in 2006, ensuring a steady
supply, according to a forecast report.

The growth in the major markets will occur despite the disruptions caused by continued disease outbreaks and the resulting trade restrictions, the US agriculture department (USDA) said in itsreport on world markets for livestock and poultry.

Though there was a slight fall off in global production of beef and poultry in 2003, the global trade in all meats has steadily increased since 2001. This despite the disruptions in supply due tosafety restrictions. Other exporting countries have managed to fill the gaps in the increasing demand by raising production levels, the USDA stated.

Major exporters' pork prices will continue to increase, as they have in the last two years. Exports have mushroomed in the wake of consumers shifting their animal protein consumption, the department stated.

Meanwhile beef demand and prices have been affected by safety concerns and the related trade measures.

Demand for poultry continues to rise despite the food safety problems, with prices also falling as the major traders step up production, the USDA stated.

The food safety problems include outbreaks of avian influenza in Asia and Russia, foot and mouth disease in Brazil, as well as trade restrictions on US and Canadian beef due to bovine spongiformencephalopathy (BSE).

Even with the food safety problems, meat consumption among major consuming countries continues to climb spurring increased production and growth in exports. Overall increases in worldwide real percapita income in 2006 are the main drivers behind the consumption and production growth.

The continuing macroeconomic growth worldwide will encourage meat producers to make the investment in production and processing capacity. Producers and processors in rising exporting countries arealso investing in a range of capacity and quality improvement projects, the department stated.

Such developments include the modernisation and construction of slaughtering plants in Brazil and feedlot expansion in South Africa.

Poultry broiler meat exports are forecast to surpass beef exports from the major traders next year, the report predicted. For the first time, broiler meat exports by major traders are forecast toreach 7.5 million tons. Poultry demand is expected to be strong due to the absence of the US in major beef markets and the constraints on growth in Brazilian beef exports, the department stated.

The department forecasts poultry exports will increase by about seven per cent in 2006 as a result of an increased supply from a number of countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China , Thailandand the US.

The demand will be driven by Asian countries, particularly China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand as consumers will have more disposable income.

Meanwhile beef exports are forecast to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2006. The current food-and-mouth outbreak in Brazil is forecast to have a minimal impact on current meat trade flows. The October 2005outbreak in Mato Grosso do Sull will constrain growth in the Brazilian beef and pork sectors. Brazil is expected to shift beef production to disease-free states to meet the export demand in 2006,particularly to Russia.

Pork production continues to benefit from its role as a substitute for animal protein when trade in beef and poultry declines due to disease-related bans. Growth in pork production and consumptionin some regions is due to substitution, while recent export growth in the other regions such as Mexico has been income driven, the department stated.

The forecast growth of pork exports is 1.9 per cent in 2006.

The production level of all three types of meats is expected to grow at between 2.7 to 3.8 per cent during the year. Demand growth is forecast to average about 2.9 per cent.

EU pork production is expected to increase marginally in 2006 while exports are forecast to rise by about one per cent to nearly 1.5 million tons. The growth will be driven by Polishexports to Russia, which are expected to resume after gaining Russian approval. The European Union will easily retain its position as the world's leading pork exporter and is forecast to account for28 per cent of pork exports by major traders and 25 per cent of the increase in pork exports in 2006.

The US currently holds a four per cent share of the beef market due to BSE restrictions from a number of importing countries. Prior to 2004 the US held an 18 per cent share of the world market forbeef. The country holds a 25 per cent share of the pork export market and a 34 per cent share of poultry trading.

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