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Global Beef Prices Expected to Rise in 2024

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Beef cattle

According to Rabobank‘s latest Global Beef Quarterly Report, U.S. beef prices are high and production is declining, while southern hemisphere beef production is increasing and prices are falling. U.S. beef production declined in the fourth quarter of 2023, leading to increased imports and decreased exports. As beef production grows, Australian and Brazilian exports will grow. Due to the cattle cycle, the global beef trade will be redistributed in 2024. After the US beef trade shifts to net imports in 2023, production and consumption will decline by 4.5% and 3% respectively in 2024. Net imports will increase, with Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand being the main beneficiaries. Brazil will set a new record for beef production in 2024, with a year-on-year increase of 1 to 2 percent and an increase in exports of 2 to 3 percent. Due to the recovery of food and beverage consumption demand, it is expected that China’s beef import growth rate may exceed 5% in 2024, which will drive the increase of Argentine beef exports, and it is expected that Argentina’s beef exports will increase by 5% to 7% in 2024. Rabobank noted that as the global economy continues its slow recovery, beef prices are likely to rise in 2024 and supply chain profits could be squeezed. Aside from the consumption boost, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not expected to have a material impact on the beef trade but could have an indirect impact on beef prices if it leads to higher fuel and energy costs.

Beef price

Brazil’s beef exports in the first 11 months of 2023 remained strong and close to the record level in 2022, totaling 1.79 million tons, only 2.2% lower than the same period in 2022 (1.83 million tons), with exports of $8.55 billion, down 22.6% from the same period last year. Brazilian beef export prices averaged $4.76 per kg in January-November 2023, 20.9% lower than the average price for the same period in 2022 ($6.01) and the lowest level since 2020. In November 2023, Brazilian beef shipments were 188,000 tons of fresh and frozen beef, the third highest level this year, only lower than in June and September, 26.3% higher than the same period last year (148,000 tons), exports of 863.4 million US dollars, an increase of 11.0%, of which exports to China and exports were 506 million US dollars and 117,000 tons, respectively. Accounted for 59% and 62%, respectively, with year-on-year increases of 0.8% and 24.6%.

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