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Kazakhstan to Grow Beef Herd

30 August 2013

KAZAKHSTAN - Beef production is set to expand in Kazakhstan, according to the latest report on the country released by Business Monitor International (BMI).

Meat and Livestock Australia analysts said that the local government has announced a plan to expand the beef herd, in order to increase food self-sufficiency and become an exporter of beef.

Agriculture has been the focus of recent government attempts to diversify the economy, currently heavily reliant on hydrocarbon production.

Australian live cattle exports have benefited from the push to expand the beef herd, with Australian live cattle exports to Kazakhstan totalling 2,129 head in 2012, according to MLA.

These were mainly Angus heifers for breeding.

The government has set an import target of 21,000 head in 2013 (up from 16,713 in 2012), with the US, the EU and Canada also supplying large numbers of breeding cattle into the market.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that BMI has forecast beef and veal production at 425,000 tonnes for 2013, while consumption is forecast at 475,000 tonnes, leaving a substantial gap needing to be filled by beef imports.

Australia has not only been supplying live cattle to the market, but also beef in increasing quantities. In 2012, Australian beef exports reached 2,586 tonnes, while in 2013 (Jan-July), shipments have totalled 750 tonnes.

Out to 2017, BMI has forecast production to exceed consumption, potentially allowing Kazakhstan to act as an exporter of beef, with production forecast at 578,000 tonnes, while consumption predicted at 532,000 tonnes.

The ability of the country to expand its beef production so quickly will depend on continued government support. Although production is slated to expanded, opportunities for Australian beef in the market have the potential to exist.

This year has seen the first Australian chilled beef shipments to the country, potentially signalling increased demand for high quality chilled beef.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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