US beef production anticipated to keep growing through to 2018 – LMIC

10 November 2016

According to America’s Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), 2017 and 2018 are likely to see year-on-year increases in US red meat production.

Pork production is predicted to be at record high levels in 2017, at 25.5 billion lbs (11.6 million tonnes), before edging up to 26 billion lbs (11.8 million tonnes) in 2018, assisted by the likely completion of new processing plants, and producers being geared to supply them.

On the beef front, similar forecasts are expected. The only point of difference is record highs are not anticipated, yet they are likely to come very close to the record set during 2002 (27.1 billion lbs, or 12.3 million tonnes) by 2018. Production expectations are to reach 26 billion lbs (11.8 million tonnes) in 2017, before a further 2-5% rise forecast in 2018.

For Australian producers, this does indeed mean that there will be a greater volume of US beef on the US domestic market, potentially limiting US import demand for Australian product for the years ahead. Similarly, the higher US beef production will potentially lead to greater competition in markets where Australian and US product competes for market share, like Japan and Korea.

However, as stated by Steiner Consulting Group in their analysis of LMIC’s projections, US population growth is expected to be just under 1% per year, meaning the projected US production growth will be moderated when assessed on a per person basis. While this is better news for Australian producers, the concern remains though that population growth is unlikely to outpace production growth, which will ultimately lead to more US beef domestically and for the US to export.

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