April 24, 2024


US to become net beef importer for second consecutive year as domestic supplies tighten




The United States could become a net beef importer for a second straight year, CoBank animal protein analyst Brazin Earnest told Brownfield.


According to Earnest, a record-low US cattle inventory, along with other global factors, are weighing on beef exports.


"Economic issues in China are finally taking their cut at imports of US beef," he said. "…but also, Australia is rebounding from some significant impact from drought, and we're seeing higher volumes of availability of Australian beef."


Earnest added that short domestic supplies paired with strong consumer demand, especially for ground beef, has led to "A pretty big uptick in imports of beef this year to accommodate a consumer that's looking for that value item."


He forecast retail beef prices to continue to rise.


"I don't know to the degree that that will push away consumers," he said. "We may just see some trading within the category this year."


Earnest noted that US beef production declined by 4% year over year, or 280 million pounds, during the first quarter of 2024.


- Brownfield

Video >

Follow Us