Thailand expands beef and cattle intake

01 July 2015

Thailand-beef-cattle.bmpThailand is an emerging destination for beef and live cattle, backed by the economic growth, rising tourism demand, and its strategically important location in between south and north Asia. Total beef imports into the country for the first four months of the year increased by 82% year-on-year, to 10,274 tonnes swt, largely due to inroads of Indian carabeef (Global Trade Atlas).

For the year-to-April period, beef intake from India into Thailand surged by 132% year-on-year, to 5,860 tonnes swt, accounting for 57% of total beef imported into the country during the four months (up from 45% in 2014). Australia is the second largest supplier to the market (up 33%, to 2,851 tonnes swt), followed by New Zealand (up 26%, to 1,109 tonnes swt).

India exports carabeef (meat derived from dry buffalo), which is widely consumed in Asia as an affordable source of protein. The average import value of Australian beef into Thailand is US$7.24/kg, while carabeef is US$3.35/kg.

Myanmar is the main supplier of live cattle into Thailand, but imports from the country in the first four months of 2015 declined 5% year-on-year to 44,681 head, and down 52% from the same period in 2013, possibly due to a declining herd. Imports of Australian live cattle jumped from zero to 5,071 head during the same period (Global Trade Atlas).

While Thai beef consumption is increasing, it is believed that beef and cattle imported into the country are not entirely consumed within the country.

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