Might of US behind high prices Tension between cattle and pig production trends internationally helps explain the uncertain tone of most recently published world meat price forecasts. One influence is the tightening of US beef supply. American producers, a couple of years later than expected, have sharply reduced both their cow slaughterings and their calf numbers. Meanwhile their beef exports have held up much better than expected. Western Pacific buyers including the Koreans are still active. On the other hand cattle and beef are surprisingly expensive in much of South America. These influences together are making the US internal market an unexpectedly powerful engine of world beef market growth, despite the glut of pork and poultry. Among the indirect effects is resilient export volume from Irish and some continental plants. At the end of the day it all helps explain the buoyancy of beef prices within the UK. {{MEAT }}

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