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Beef Production to Fall Alongside Herds in Argentina

01 June 2009

ARGENTINA - Argentina is among one of the world’s top beef producing countries, accounting for five per cent of global production and trade in 2008.

It remains one of the key suppliers to the EU market with shipments of almost 65,000 tonnes product weight in 2008, some 25 per cent of total imports, writes Peter Duggan, Strategic Information Services, Bord Bia.

Beef consumption on a per capita basis in Argentina stands at around 68 kg, the highest in the world. However, the sector is undergoing significant changes, which seem set to reduce output over the coming years.

For the first quarter of 2009, Ciccra reported that supplies increased by 16 per cent to 3.85 million head with production some 18 per cent higher. This represents the largest increase for the last 19 years. However, much of this increase can be attributed to the sharp slowdown during the corresponding period in 2008 due to strikes. Most of the increased supplies have been due to ongoing liquidation of the breeding herd as producers switch to crops with supplies in 2009 further boosted by increased marketing’s due to drought.

Calf births in Argentina are expected to fall by almost 14 per cent in 2009, although some reports suggest a significantly sharper decline. This will impact on beef production levels in 2011. Figures from the Argentinean Ministry of Agriculture claim that beef production will fall by 14 per cent to 2.67 million tonnes in 2010 leading to potential situation where imports will be required to support consumption.

Furthermore the Argentinean Ministry of Agriculture expect that the total livestock herd will fall by more than 13 per cent to 47.9 million head by 2010 leading to production declining by 14 per cent or around 440,000 tonnes.

Argentinean Beef Production '000 Tonnes CWE


Image: IMS and USDA

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