November 5, 2008


US expects to import more beef in 2009


The US is expected to import 1.213 million tonnes of beef in 2009, an increase of 82,000 tonnes, or 7 percent from 2008, but still less than it imported each year between 2004 and 2007, according to USDA statistics.


In a Livestock and Poultry World Markets and Trade report released last week, USDA said the increased US imports are expected due to the strengthening dollar and reduced cow slaughter which will tighten beef processing supplies.


The report also forecast Russia would increase beef imports by 2 percent to over 1 million tonnes while Japanese beef imports rise 2 percent to 690,000 tonnes, despite the global economy crisis and South Korean beef imports are expected to rise 6 percent in 2009 to 340,000 tonnes.


Global beef exports are expected to rise nearly 2 percent in 2009 as gains from Brazil, Argentina and the US outweigh decreases from Australia and New Zealand.


US beef exports are expected to rise nearly 10 percent to 934,000 tonnes in 2009 as Asian market opportunities expand.


Brazil is expected to export more than 2 million tonnes, up 5 percent from 2008. Shipments declined in 2008 for the first time since 1996 due to sanitary issues.


Argentina is estimated to expand exports by 20 percent to 480,000 tonnes in 2009 after plummeting an expected 25 percent in 2008. USDA attributed the expected increase to the Argentine government setting a higher export quota, thermo processed product to be exported outside of the quota and the absence of farmer strikes, which limited supplies in 2008.


Beef exports from Australia could fall by 3 percent and New Zealand exports by 4 percent, USDA predicted, as reduced production meets resilient domestic demand in both countries.

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