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W9: Weekly Beef Update

Updated Mar 10, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W9 in the global beef landscape. In summary, global beef production and exports in 2023 are expected to decline to 59.2M MT and 12.1M MT, respectively. The USDA biannual report indicates that the US beef cattle inventory stood at 89.3M head as of Jan 1, 2023, down 3% compared to a year ago. Paraguayan cattle slaughter exports totaled 143.68K in February 2023, a drop of 10.2% and 2.2% compared to January 2023 and February 2022, respectively. Tridge’s analysis indicates that Brazil is potentially going to lose USD 500M, almost the same income from exports to China in January due to the temporary suspension of Brazilian beef exports to China as a result of the occurrence of “Mad Cow”. Lastly, Uruguayan beef export value in February totaled USD 196M, down 21% compared to the levels exported in the same month of 2022 amounting to USD 247M.

Live Beef

US: USDA Gets Greenlight for Cattle Hunt (Feb 27)

USDA got the green light to start hunting as many as 150 cattle by helicopter in a New Mexico national forest after a federal judge on Feb. 22, declined to halt the hunting plan. US District Judge James O. Browning for the US District Court in New Mexico filed a 27-page opinion on Feb 22 following a court hearing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, allowing USDA to go ahead with plans to shoot feral cattle in the Gila National Forest in southwest New Mexico. Browning rejected the request from cattle producers and others for a temporary restraining order to halt the aerial hunt.

US: Feeder Cattle Supported by Mostly Lower Move In Corn (Feb 27)

USD 0.40 lower at USD 164.97 and June live cattle closed at USD 0.20 lower at USD 160.87. March feeders closed USD 0.10 higher at USD 189.17 and April feeders closed USD 0.65 higher at USD 194.22. It was a typically quiet Monday (Feb 27) for the direct cash cattle business. Show lists in W9 were higher across all major feeding areas. Bids and asking prices didn’t surface on Monday, but packers were short-bought in some areas and it could spark business to develop earlier than usual this week. At mid-session at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, feeder steers were steady to USD 2 higher and feeder heifers were USD 2 to USD 5 higher. Steer calves were mostly steady, heifer calves were USD 3 to USD 5 higher with heifer calves 400 to 500 pounds up to USD 15 higher. The USDA says demand is good and quality is above average.

US: Beef Cattle Inventory Lowest Since 1962 (Feb 27)

Beef cattle inventories across the United States are at their lowest point in more than six decades, according to the US Department of Agriculture. In its biannual cattle report, USDA reported a total of 89.3M head as of Jan. 1, 2023, 3% lower than the total reported a year ago, and the lowest since 2015. Beef cattle, those bred specifically for slaughter and meat sale, declined 3.6%, to 28.9M head, the lowest total recorded by the agency since 1962.

US: USDA Feb. 1 Cattle on Feed Report (Feb 27)

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with a capacity of 1K more head totaled 11.7M head on Feb. 1, 2023. The inventory was 4% below Feb. 1, 2022, USDA NASS reported. Placements in feedlots during January totaled 1.93M head, 4% below 2022. Net placements were 1.87M head. During January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 405K head, 600-699 pounds were 420K head, 700-799 pounds were 540K head, 800-899 pounds were 402K head, 900-999 pounds were 100K head, and 1K pounds and greater were 65K head. Marketing of fed cattle during January totaled 1.85M head, 4% above 2022. 

US: Mid Day Cash Livestock Markets (Feb 27)

It’s a typically quiet start of W9 for direct cash cattle trade activity. Buyers and sellers are busy taking inventory and putting together show lists. Trade volumes in W8 were light and it could get business off to an earlier start, but it could also follow the trend of recent weeks with significant trade volume holding out until sometime Feb 2 or 3. There was a light to moderate trade that took place late in the week with dressed businesses ranging from USD 257 to USD 262, mostly USD 260 to USD 262, which is USD 3 to USD 5 higher than the prior week’s weighted averages. Live deals in the South were marked at mostly USD 164, about USD 2 higher than the previous week’s business.

US: Wisconsin Sees Mixed February Weather (Feb 28)

Wisconsin saw mixed precipitation and wide-ranging temperatures during February. The USDA says the state started the month cold and snowy, turning warmer in the middle before a storm system dropped more than a good of snow in the northeast and freezing rain and ice in the south. Northwestern did see consistent snow cover, but other areas did not, creating concerns about winterkill for wheat and alfalfa. While temperatures on average were warmer than normal, the wide range did cause respiratory issues for some cattle. 

US: Beef Industry Abuzz After Reintroduction of Checkoff Reform Bill (Mar 1)

Newly reintroduced legislation received mixed responses from the beef industry. On Feb. 28, a bipartisan bill was reintroduced to reform all commodity checkoff programs, including the beef checkoff program. The Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act (OFF Act) was introduced by Senators. Groups representing cattle producers have voiced differing views on the proposed legislation. The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fun United Stock growers of America (R-CALF USA) applauded the bill. 

US: Cull Kills 19 Feral Cattle in New Mexico (Mar 2)

19 feral cattle have been shot from a helicopter by federal employees in a New Mexico wilderness area in a cull opposed by ranchers and criticized by the state’s governor. The US Forest Service (USFS) said the three-day operation was the most efficient way to stop the undomesticated animals destroying endangered species' habitats and menacing hikers in the Gila Wilderness of southwest New Mexico.

US: Brazil’s Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Fallout (Mar 2)

U.S. imports of Brazilian beef surged in 2022, but after confirmation of mad cow disease in that country, many are calling for a halt to the buying. More than a month passed before Brazilian authorities reported a case of mad cow disease, more properly known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The 35-day delay was called "unacceptable" by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), and "in clear violation of WOAH (World Organization for Animal Health) requirements." The WOAH is an intergovernmental group charged with supporting and promoting animal disease control on a global level. DTN reported earlier that BSE was confirmed in the state of Para. The Ministry of Agriculture identified the infected animal as a 9-year-old male in a 160-head herd. Samples from the sick animal were sent to a World Health Organization for Animal Health Lab in Canada to find out if the animal had a classic form of BSE or an atypical variation. The atypical form is more common in older animals and is considered to be lower risk.

Australia: Grain-Fed Cattle Account For Nearly Half of Australian Beef Slaughter (Feb 27)

In 2022, Australia's lot-feeding sector solidified itself as a major component of the Australian beef supply chain, accounting for a record 47% of total cattle slaughter, according to a press release from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). National capacity for cattle on feed in 2022 continued its upward trend, with the industry expecting to have space available for 1.532M head in Q4 2022, assuming 100% utilization, the release said. Compared to Q4 2021, a further 5.5%, 79K head of pen space was delivered in 12 months. National capacity for Q4 2022 is 225K heads higher than Q4 2018, an increase of 17.2%. All states have experienced strong growth compared with five years ago. The most significant increase occurred in Queensland, with its current pen space 17% higher, a further 123K head than in Q4 2018. The total grain-fed turn-off for 2022 reached 2.74M head, the lowest yearly turn-off of grain-fed cattle since the rebuilding year of 2016.

Australia: Trying to Develop a Local Vaccine Against Bovine Trichomoniasis (Feb 28)

The University of Queensland announced the creation of an experimental vaccine against trichomoniasis in cattle (cattle). This was reported in a publication on the university website. Trichomoniasis of cattle is a disease that causes infertility in cattle. In a study by Professor Michael McGowan of the University of Queensland's School of Veterinary Medicine, the infection was found in slaughterhouse bulls from all of Australia's major livestock regions and in one in ten animals from the northern territories of the country. Bulls are reported to infect cows during mating, causing them to become infertile or have abortions. According to Dr. Kieren McCosker, who helped collect samples for the study, in northern Australian herds, losses from reproductive inefficiencies cost the industry between USD 60M and USD 100M a year. 

Australia: Cattle Carcass Weights on the Rise (Mar 1)

Average cattle carcass weights have been increasing in recent years due to improvements in genetics and management systems across Australia. According to the ABS, average carcass weights have risen by 30% since June 2003, when the average carcass weight was 245.86kg/head, to sit at 320.16kg/head nationally in Q4 2022. Attributed in part to the higher numbers on feed, Queensland cattle were, on average, the heaviest cattle with weights 5% higher than the national average in Q4. According to the ABS, average adult male cattle carcass weights have remained at 347.7kg/head nationally for the last four quarters. Male carcass weights in Queensland are 4% higher than the national average and in 2022 Queensland male carcass weights reached a new record of 363kg/head, beating the previous record set in Q1 2022. WA male carcass weights also reached a new record of 314kg/head.

Australia: Female Cattle Slaughter Rate Hits Lowest Level Since 1996 (Mar 2)

On February 16, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its Q4 production and slaughter data for 2022. Following the data’s release, MLA’s Market Information team compiled an in-depth analysis of the key performance metrics for the cattle herd’s rebuild, including the female slaughter rate (FSR). The FSR is the total number of female cattle processed as a percentage of the total on a quarterly basis and is considered a key metric to the national herd rebuild/liquidation cycle. In 2022, the national FSR averaged 42.8%, the lowest it has been since 1996 and the fifth lowest since ABS records began in 1976. The low FSR directly aligns with MLA’s Cattle projections, which forecast the herd to grow to its highest level since 2014. This figure recognizes that 2022 was the most intense year of retention of females on-farm in 26 years, in fact, last year was within the top five strongest years for female retention in recorded history. 

Australia: Even as Prices Fall, Australian Beef Outperforms on the World Stage (Mar 3)

Australian cattle prices have continued to drop since the recent peak in November 2022, as concerns regarding global economic conditions grow alongside the expectation of higher supply in Australia. This has resulted in the Heavy Steer Indicator dropping by 24% to USD 231.07/kg (A351¢) live weight (lwt). There have been varying trends in other producing nations countries, however, the premium for Australian cattle has been preserved despite the declines in price.

Australia: Australian Producer Remain Alert as Cattle Ticks Discovered in Free Zone (Mar 5)

Producers remain alert as cattle ticks are located in a tick-free zone. Infestation causes tick worry and blood loss which leads to loss of condition and sometimes death. South Burnett producers are being advised to remain attentive as cattle ticks have been located outside the infested tick zone. The ticks were located "virtually in the center" of the tick-free Ironpot district, west of Kingaroy, according to local councilor Scott Henschen. Cr Henschen has been vocal about those with cattle taking precautions as he watched tick numbers explode in the nearby tick-infested zone. He also believes presence in the region could be an isolated incident

Canada: The Number of Cattle Decreased (Mar 3)

The number of beef cattle in Canada in 2022 decreased by 230K heads, down 2.4%. As of early 2023, calves accounted for much of the decline. As of January 1, 2022, there were 6.437M cattle on calf farms in Canada. As of January 1, 2023, this figure was 6.278M. Calves decreased by 160K heads, down 2.5% YoY. The number of cattle at fattening and storage enterprises also decreased by 71K heads from 1.723M at the beginning of 2022 to 1.652M as of January 1 of 2023. The biggest decrease was in the province of Alberta from 4.816M to 4.628 M. The number of all cattle in Canada, including dairy cattle, fell by 2.2% in 2022. USDA estimated the number of cattle and calves at 89.27M at the beginning of the year, down 3% from 92.07M as of January 2022.

Ireland: MMI Demands Larger Grant for Cattle Eid Facilities at Marts (Mar 1)

Mart Managers of Ireland (MMI) has called on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to “dramatically increase” the grant available to marts to install electronic identification (EID) facilities for cattle. Under the Cattle EID Livestock Mart Grant Aid Scheme, which opened for applications in January, marts can apply for 40% of the total cost of the eligible upgrades made, up to a maximum total payment of USD 8.53K (€8K). The department said that funding is available only for the upgrading of facilities to electronically read and record the identification details of cattle being traded. Eligible investments will include the installation or upgrading of wi-fi, electronic reading equipment, software development, hardware purchase and the purchase of tablet computers. Grant aid will not be given for any other improvements made by applicant marts. The closing date for receipt of applications is September 30, 2023.

Ireland: Beef Farmers Should Sell Hard to Factories (Mar 1)

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Livestock Committee chair, Brendan Golden, said that beef farmers should “sell hard” and resist efforts by meat factories “to drag down prices”. He said that beef farmers will not be fooled by “the usual factory propaganda” in attempts to control the market place. “The behavior of some factories in trying to reduce quotes shows no regard for farmers who have made huge investments in finishing cattle over the winter months. Factories are acutely aware of how tight beef supplies are. They’re trying to manipulate the situation by reducing throughput. This is unacceptable and must stop. Beef prices must reflect the reality of the market place and the increased demand in higher prices,” Golden said. The IFA Livestock chair said that Bord Bia predicted supplies of beef cattle will be down by 60K head this year, with all of this reduction taking place in the first half of the year. 

Ireland: Climate Targets Without Suckler Herd Reduction Almost Impossible (Mar 3)

The chair of the Food Vision Beef and Sheep Group, Prof. Thia Hennessy believes it will be “very challenging” for the agriculture sector to meet climate targets without reducing the suckler herd. Among the recommendations in the group’s final report were voluntary diversification and extensification schemes for the beef sector. However, the Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has since said that a government scheme to reduce the Irish beef herd is “off the table“. Climate Prof. Hennessy, who is the head of the Department of Food Business and Development and chair of Agri-Food Economics at Cork University Business School, told Agriland that the emissions reduction targets for the agriculture sector “are very ambitious”. “As the scientific solutions were presented to us it became more and more evident that reaching those ambitious targets without some contraction in production is going to be almost impossible,” she said.

Ireland: Over 13K Calves Exported in First 7 Weeks of 2023 (Mar 3)

The first 7 weeks of 2023 have seen a strong start to Irish calf export numbers, with just over 13K calves exported as of February 19. This marks an increase of 120%, just under 7.2K head of additional calves exported compared to figures from the same time period last year. The Netherlands has been the standout destination for Irish calves to date this year, with over 6.3K head making their way to the country in the first seven weeks of 2023. This is up 282% from the 1.65K head of calves that had been exported from Ireland to the Netherlands in the same time period of 2022. In 2022, a total of 95K Irish calves were exported to the Netherlands. This accounted for more than half of the total number of calves exported last year. Irish calf exports to Spain are up 34% on last year to just under 5K head.

Ireland: Calf Registrations in Ireland (Mar 4)

Calf registrations for the YTD have surpassed 840K head, with just shy of 151K calves registered in the week ending March 3. Based on the latest data available from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) the total number of calf registrations so far this year stands at 842.44K, which is actually 6.47K head behind this point in 2022. The number of calves being registered each week should now begin to slow down, with many dairy farms past the peak of the calving season. Calf registrations, a total of 131.14K calves were registered to dairy dams in the week ending March 3, which is 1.63K more than the same period in 2022 when some 129.51K calves were registered to dairy dams. Dairy calf numbers started well behind 2022, but have now caught up and have surpassed 2022’s numbers. So far this year, the total number of calves registered to dairy dams stands at 732.82K, which is slightly ahead of 2022 when 731.76K calves were registered. 

Poland: Meat Market (Mar 2)

On February 6-12, 2023, domestic suppliers for slaughter cattle obtained USD 2.46/kg (PLN 10.79), which is 1% more than the week before. Livestock was 0.4% more expensive than a month ago and 12% more than a year ago. Compensated quarters of beef from bulls up to 2 years old were sold in Poland at USD 4.84/kg (PLN 21.23), USD 0.03/kg (PLN 0.13) more expensive than in the previous week, but USD 0.036/kg (PLN 0.16) cheaper than a month ago. The price of quarter carcasses was 9% higher than in the same week of 2022.

France: Good Calves Remain in Demand (Mar 3)

The good Montbéliards remain popular and very well-valued for export. Demand is normal without more heavy Prim’Holsteins in the face of competition from Irish calves on the Spanish market. Market volumes are stable and in line with the needs of integrators for end-of-summer releases. Commercial activity is regular with stable prices in good dairy calves, which are globally valued at USD 31.94- 42.59 (30 to €40) more than last year at the same time. Sales are quite regular in the mid-range crosses which go to Spain, but the quality of the supply penalizes the revaluation of light calves fattened in France. The trend is for prices to remain stable in the good Limousins, but the good U conformation crosses are tending to progress. Veal Calves Outputs provide a good market balance. 

Brazil: Mad Cow Woes Could Benefit New Zealand (Feb 27)

The suspension of Brazilian beef exports to China following the discovery of mad cow disease could benefit New Zealand exporters, says the Meat Industry Association. Mad cow disease, or Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a fatal neurological disease in cattle, is linked to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which affects the brain in humans. In W8, it was detected in a nine-year-old bull in the Brazilian state of Para in the north of the country, resulting in the immediate suspension of exports to China. Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said the impact on NZ trade from Brazil’s suspension will depend on how long it is in place. When BSE was last discovered in the Brazilian beef herd in 2021, exports were suspended for three months. 

Brazil: SRB Supports Request for Revision of Beef Export Agreement Between Brazil and China (Feb 27)

The Brazilian Rural Society goes public to express support for the request of the Mato Grosso Breeders Association (Acrimat) to review the bilateral agreement for the export of Brazilian beef to China, signed on May 19, 2015. On February 22nd, shortly after the confirmation of an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (EBB) in Marabá, Pará, the Brazilian livestock department, represented by Mr. Luis Zillo, asked the president of the Sectorial Chamber of the Beef Production Chain of the Ministry of Agriculture, André Bartocci, so that the subject of the revision of the protocol was discussed as a matter of urgency. 

Brazil: Mad Cow Disease Could Reduce Meat Prices in Brazil, but the Effect Would Be Short-Term (Feb 27)

Economists are monitoring the developments of the “mad cow” case in Pará to assess the impacts on inflation and the price of meat. Since the case was confirmed, on Feb 23, beef exports to China have been voluntarily suspended by Brazil, following health protocol. China is the country's biggest beef buyer. In 2022, it absorbed 53.3% of the volume of shipments and 60.9% of consolidated revenue, according to the Brazilian Association of Frigorificos (Abrafrigo). With no way to sell products to its largest foreign buyer, the Brazilian domestic market could experience an excess supply of beef, which would lead to a drop in product prices, which are no longer under pressure. In the February inflation preview, meat in general (not just beef) has accumulated a 0.70% drop in 12 months, while the full index (IPCA-15) rises 5.63%, and food at home, 11.82%. Among the beef with greater weight in the index, sirloin accumulates deflation of 0.46%, rump back of 0.50%, and chuck of 3.71%.

Brazil: The Arroba Price Remained Stable in São Paulo (Feb 28)

Most of the meatpacking industries did not open prices due to the suspension of shipments to China. In the São Paulo wholesale market for bone-in meat, prices fell. In the last seven days, beef and heifer carcasses fell by 0.9% and 1.8%, respectively. In the WoW comparison, the price of whole cattle carcasses fell by 0.7%. Castrated cattle carcass prices increased by 0.4%.

Brazil: NCBA Again Calls for Immediate Halt to Imports of Brazilian Beef (Mar 1)

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has again asked Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to take immediate action and suspend imports of beef from Brazil indefinitely. The request comes after Brazil failed to report another atypical case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) within the 24-hour reporting requirement. The case was first identified on January 18, 2023, and was confirmed on February 22, 2023. NCBA president Todd Wilkinson says the organization has asked the USDA to keep the border closed to Brazil until the country can demonstrate it can follow the trade rules that govern other nations.

Brazil: Atypical Case of Mad Cow Brought Down the Price of the Mercosur Steer (Mar 1)

The suspension of exports from Brazil to China starting Feb 23 after confirming the atypical case of mad cow pushed down the prices of cattle for slaughter in Brazil and Paraguay. The Mercosur Steer Fax-meat Index lost 8 cents in the week to USD 3.61/kg carcass, leaving behind four consecutive weeks of gains. In Brazil, the market has not yet fully formed after the shock that the news implied, but prices are logically trending downward. The average value in the main exporting states fell 10 cents to USD 3.20/kg carcass. The impact on prices in Paraguay was immediate. Slaughter male lost 35-40 cents at USD 3.20/kg carcass. In Argentina, prices stabilized after the very intense appreciation of 38% from the second week of the year to last week. 

Brazil: Price of the Arroba of the Ox Falls 7.2% In February, According to Cepea (Mar 2)

With the recent suspension of beef shipments to China, due to a protocol established between Brazil and the Asian country in cases of identification of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as “mad cow disease”, in the national herd, the pace of business weakened in the domestic market. Consequently, arroba prices have retreated in recent days. The CEPEA/B3 live cattle indicator (São Paulo market) closed February at USD 51.86 (R$ 267.95), down 7.2% in the month. The case of “mad cow disease” was identified in Pará. According to the government of Pará, this is an atypical case of the disease, involving an old animal, without any risk to public health. The animal has already been slaughtered, and its owner's rural property isolated and interdicted. Samples from the sick cattle were sent to a laboratory in Canada to confirm whether the case really is atypical.

Brazil: Market for Live Cattle Is Still Without Reaction Although More Buyers Are Active (Mar 2)

Some industries resumed purchases to supply the domestic market, but price offers remained lower than those in force on February 17, the last business day before the BSE case was communicated. Livestock prices in São Paulo's livestock markets remained stable. Cow prices fell USD 0.19/@ (R$1.00) and heifer prices fell USD 0.97/@ (R$5.00) in a day-to-day comparison. For the “Chinese ox”, there is no purchase offer. In the livestock market in Goiânia, the price dropped USD 0.97/@ (R$5.00) for cows and heifers. Live cattle prices remained stable in the daily comparison. With the market under pressure, the price of the arroba of the ox, cow, and heifer dropped USD 0.97/@ (R$5.00) in the day-to-day comparison.

Brazil: Canada Confirmed That the Mad Cow Case Is Atypical and Brazil Foresees a Rapid Reactivation of China (Mar 3)

Brazil accelerated actions and exchanges with the health authorities of the Chinese government to achieve a rapid reactivation of the market, after the confirmation on Mar 2 night from the Canadian laboratory that mad cow disease is an atypical case. The technical body of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAPA) of Brazil reported that the analysis of the reference laboratory of the World Organization for Animal Health (OMSA) confirmed that the isolated case of mad cow detected in the municipality of Pará (PA) is atypical type H. Given this, "the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Carlos Fávaro, quickly communicated the result of the sample to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and immediately began to insert said information into the system for official communication to WHOA and the authorities of Chinese," said the statement from the Brazilian government.

Brazil: Mato Grosso Has the Largest Herd in the Country, With 34.3M Animals (Mar 3)

Mato Grosso has the largest number of cattle in the country, with 34.3M animals, according to a survey by the State Agricultural Defense Institute (Indea-MT), based on data from the Ministry of Agriculture. It is the sixth consecutive year that the State is in this position. According to Indea-MT, herd growth in 2022 was 4.66%, compared to 2021. With this amount, MT holds 14.8% of the national cattle herd. With 3.M people, the State has about 9 cattle/inhabitant. The municipalities of Cáceres, Vila Bela da Santíssima Trindade, Juara, Juína and Alta Floresta lead the ranking of Mato Grosso municipalities with the highest number of animals. Together, they concentrate 5.1M cattle. Colniza, Cáceres, Juína, Nova Bandeirantes and Alta Floresta are the municipalities with the largest number of rural properties dedicated to livestock. In November 2022, 33.5M cattle and buffaloes were vaccinated against Foot-and-mouth disease in the state. 

Brazil: Female Slaughter Dictates the Rule (Mar 3)

The resumption of buying after the market stall remained slow. In São Paulo, sellers and buyers were in the boom. Those who were active in purchases preferred to buy females and those who were active in sales also preferred to sell females. The price of ox, cow, and heifer remained stable in the day-to-day comparison. For the “China cattle”, which still awaits confirmation of BSE classification by the accredited laboratory in Canada, there were no purchase offers.

Spain: UPA Appreciates the Approval of the Decree on Cattle Farms and Asks the MAPA to Bet on Family Farming (Feb 28)

For a few weeks, Spain has had legislation that fully regulates the beef and dairy sector. Two months ago now, the BOE published RD 1053/2022, which establishes basic regulations for the management of bovine farms, some of whose provisions have already entered into force, and others will do so based on various transitory periods. The Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers, UPA, has actively participated in the process of defining this important decree, whose work has lasted several years. Finally, a standard is already in force that UPA values positively, although there are issues that can be improved that they hope to be able to incorporate in the future. Among the most positive, in the opinion of the agrarian organization, is the establishment of a cap on the maximum productive capacity of farms of 850 Major Livestock Units (UGM), with 1 UGM being a dairy cow, for example. 

Paraguay: Export Slaughter February Totaled 143.68K Cattle, a Drop of 10.2% (Mar 1)

In February, the export meatpacking plants processed 143.68K cattle, which represented a drop of 10.2% compared to last January and 2.2% in relation to the activity of February 2022. In terms of volume, by categories, 20.8K steers, 59.73K bulls, 28.61K cows, and 34.54K heifers entered the industries. This meant a reduction in all categories with the exception of heifers, which had an increase of 2.87K heads.

Paraguay: Due to Mad Cow Disease, Steer Price Fell 35 Cents (Mar 2)

After a rise of 5 cents in W8, the price of the Paraguayan treasury registered a resounding fall of 35 cents and remained at USD 3.30, as a result of the confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as malady of the mad cow, in Brazil. The local market is fearful that the South American giant turns to meat destinations served by Paraguay, according to the weekly report by Valor Carne. In the last seven days, Paraguay suffered the largest reduction in the price of the steer in the region, reaching USD 3.30 after falling 35 cents, as a result of the case of mad cow confirmed on February 22 in a male animal of nine years inside a small property in the municipality of Marabá, state of Pará, Brazil. This health situation generated the self-exclusion of Brazil from the Chinese meat market. 

Argentina: The Rise in the Farm for Meat Consumption Slows Down, Although Export Increases (Mar 1)

The change in livestock prices after a long period of delay in relation to inflation undoubtedly benefited the producers and especially the fatteners, who were hit hard by this imbalance and by the severe drought. Although values ​​have improved, they still have a long way to go to close the gap against inflation accumulated in the last year. The improvement was 70% in cattle against an inflation that overflowed 100%. The producer began, in terms of prices alone, to get its head out of the water, although it continues to be extremely difficult due to the dry season. In the case of the consumer industry (refrigerators that sell meat to the domestic market), the changes in values ​​generated a problem because it is not yet possible to generate all the transfer to consumers. And in the case of exports, the values ​​of the farm that nourishes said business rose more than those of meat.

Argentina: Days After the Start of a New Vaccination Campaign Against Foot-And-Mouth Disease and Brucellosis (Mar 2)

The first annual vaccination campaign against foot-and-mouth disease and brucellosis in Argentina officially begins on March 6, according to the schedule stipulated by the National Agri-Food Health and Quality Service (Senasa). For this first cycle of 2023, all bovine and buffalo categories will be inoculated against foot-and-mouth disease, in all those provinces in which it is applied systematically. According to the schedule determined by Senasa, the vaccination campaign begins on March 6 in the provinces of the central and coastal zone of the country.

Denmark: Wanting to Tackle Emissions Problem With Livestock Tax (Feb 27)

In Denmark, a decision has been made to reduce the production of beef and dairy products in order to reduce methane emissions. To achieve this goal, livestock will be subject to an emissions tax of USD 108/MT (DKK 750). According to the authorities, such a tax will force farmers to shift to the production of pork and plant products, which will allow the country to meet its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% from 1990 levels. According to Statistics Denmark, currently, about 28% of methane emissions come from animal husbandry. Moreover, if the new measure is not adopted, then by 2030 this figure will increase to 40%.

New Zealand: Homing in on Top Cattle Traits (Mar 3)

Fertility, functionality, and feed efficiency are the most important cattle traits for New Zealand beef farmers, according to a new survey. More than 700 farmers and rural professionals took part in the Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) cattle trait prioritization survey, aimed at helping form the program’s direction in developing a genetic evaluation system for the industry. Other priority traits identified by beef producers were calving ease, growth, and weight traits (including carcass) and Body Condition Score (BCS). Of these, mature cow BCS, fertility, and cow functionality traits aligned with the traits identified as a priority for further development by the program’s research team.

New Zealand: Upward Trend of Sale Yard Prices of Meat for W8 (Mar 3)

The average local slaughter and export price trends for W8 were upward in New Zealand. For W8 vs. W7 stood as follows:

  • Steer NI P2, 300kg - USD 3.64/kg (NZD 5.85/kg) vs. (USD 3.64/kg (NZD 5.85/kg)) + 0% unchanged

  • Export Bull, USA - USD 5.61/kg (NZD 9.01/kg) vs. (USD 5.37/kg (NZD 8.63/kg)) + 4.4% increase

UK: Warwick Cattle Sale Sees Yearling Prices Hold Firm (Feb 28)

A total of 1,016 cattle were yarded for W9 sale. Prices for yearling cattle remained firm on Feb 28 Warwick as a full panel of buyers was in attendance. Warwick agents penned 1,016 cattle down by 232 head last week but the overall quality of the yarding was good with the yearling cattle selling to prices firm on the last sale with any price variations being quality related. With the return to a full panel of export buyers prices lifted on the heavy cows and bulls with the penning of bullocks not up to last week's standard and easing slightly in price. The regular wholesale and feeder buyers attended along with local and interstate re-stockers. 

UK: Researchers From the UK, Ireland, and the EU Form All-Island Project to Tackle Bovine TB (Mar 1)

Researchers from the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s University Belfast and the AgriFood and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) have partnered with experts from University College Dublin (UCD) in a concerted bid to understand the immunology of bovine TB (bTB), particularly the role that nutrition and Vitamin D might play, on an all-island basis for the first time. It is estimated that TB infected herds have a 30-40% chance of a repeat breakdown within three years due to a relapse of infection on farms on both sides of the Irish border. UK, Irish and EU goals to eradicate bTB cannot be met without an intensified focus on the reasons behind recurring infection, experts say. This project, which will explore the role of Vitamin D in the animals’ immune response, has been funded by the Irish government under the ‘Shared Island’ initiative, which seeks to build new North-South partnerships in strategically important areas. 

UK: Young Stock Population Sees Slight Decline Since October (Mar 3)

The British Cattle Movement Service has released data up to January, showing a relatively small YoY decline of 0.8% (-13K head) in the GB milking herd, totaling 1.63M head. This annual decline is the smallest since January 2018. The 2-4-year-old category grew marginally by 1.7% (12.8K head), driven by a 3.8% increase in 3-year-old cows. However, this growth was offset by YoY declines in the older groupings. The young stock population showed a QQ decline for only the second time since January 2020, falling by 0.7% to a total of 943K head in January. But young stock numbers were up 1.1% (10K head) on year-earlier levels. With the 12-18 months sub-grouping seeing the largest YoY increase in 10 years (4.8%), this helped contribute to the overall young stock growth, as the 5.1% increase in the 1-2 year grouping outweighed the decrease (-2.6%) in the 0-1 grouping.

UK: What Is Next for GB Cattle Prices? (Mar 3)

GB deadweight cattle prices have shown remarkable strength so far in 2023, with prime cattle and cull cows posting weekly gains since the start of the year. In W8, the GB overall average steer price reached 480p/kg, up 71p from the same week a year ago. At the same time, the overall deadweight cow measure averaged 379p/kg, up 80p YoY.

Belgium: Taking the Next Steps in Banning IBR (Feb 28)

With the new version of the Royal Decree IBR, which was published on Feb 20, the next phase of the control program for Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) in cattle has started in Belgium. A legal deadline has been set for the removal of IBR carriers from the herd and the trade in infected cattle will be banned from 3 March. The general deadline for the removal of IBR carriers in a flock is set for October 31, 2023. Only farms with a recent introduction and an approved plan of action will be given a period of 4 years to remove all IBR carriers. The trade-in of cattle infected with IBR is prohibited unless it concerns direct transport to an abattoir or a grazer location where animals are kept until they are fit for slaughter. Delivery of calves to a veal calf farm also remains possible.

Colombia: Thirty Cattle Died in the Atlantic (Feb 27)

The winter wave in the South Atlantic continues to affect farmers in the region. Recently, cases of diarrhea, vomiting, and fainting have been reported in cattle, causing the death of at least 20 to 30 animals. The farmers have requested the help of the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) and the delivery of food supplements. Armando Mosquera, a rancher leader from Campo de la Cruz, warned that this situation is taking place in various areas, including Santa Lucía, Suan, and Campo de la Cruz, and indicated that ranchers are desperate due to the lack of response from the competent authorities. 

Kazakhstan: Plans to Extend the Ban on the Export of Breeding Stock of Cattle and Small Cattle for Another Six Months (Mar 2)

In Kazakhstan, it is planned to extend the ban on the export of breeding stock of cattle and small cattle for a period of six months. The draft joint order of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of National Economy on the introduction of a ban has been published on the Open NLA portal. It is noted that the Interdepartmental Commission on Foreign Trade Policy also decided to extend the quotas for the export of bulls and rams for six months. Previously, similar restrictions were introduced from December 31, 2022 to March 1, 2023.

Bulgaria: Farmers Received Nearly USD 333.25 for the Sale of Bulgarian Beef (Feb 27)

State Fund "Agriculture" (DFZ) paid USD 333.189K (BGN 614.88K) to 127 animal breeders under de minimis aid to cover the costs of slaughtering, transport, and administrative documents in the "Beef" sector. Admission under the scheme lasted from December 19, 2022, to January 20, 2023, and according to the instructions, payments must be made by February 28, 2023. A total of 149 applications were submitted for assistance, and 144 of them are eligible for support. 127 animal breeders have been paid, while the remaining 17 will receive the funds after the completion of the administrative checks. The aid is provided for animals slaughtered in the period October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022, and the amount of aid is up to USD 97.54/slaughtered cattle (BGN 180). Cattle intended for slaughter should have been reared for at least the last 4 months up to the date of slaughter on the farm of the farmer applying for the aid.

Chile: Reducing Its Meat Production in 2022 in All Categories (Mar 2)

The latest data offered by Odepa in relation to the evolution of meat production in Chile show a decrease in all categories. In the case of beef, this reached 190.75K MT, 9.2% less than in 2021. Regarding the importation of meat, in the case of beef, the majority came from nearby countries such as Brazil and Paraguay.

Chile: TPP 11; Bovine Meat Producers Advance Improvements in the Chilean Market (Mar 3)

The approval of the TPP-11 would open markets that would allow increasing exports of food to other countries and will be an incentive to increase the Chilean cattle mass, also improving the profitability of the activity for national cattle farmers, said the president of the National Trade Union Federation Chilean Bovine Cattle Producers (Fedecarne F.G.), Ignacio Besoain. He said that "without a doubt, it is of great importance that the TPP-11 treaty is formalized. As a primary sector, everything that means improving tariff conditions to have new and better cattle export options (dressed and live) as well as the import of inputs for our industry, will generate a positive impact on our sector."

Turkey: 39 Illegal Animals Caught in KıRklareli (Feb 27)

During the controls made by the teams of Kırklareli Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry during the alum and LSD vaccination in Düzorman village and İnece town of the center, a total of 39 cattle from outside the Thrace Region were detected. While smuggled animals were confiscated, USD 5.18 (98.21K lira) was imposed on the owners of the animals. The seized illegal animals were handed over to their owners after slaughtering in slaughterhouses. Inviting the breeders to be sensitive, Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry Mehmet Aksoy said, "As it is known, our Thrace Region has been vaccinated from the foot-and-mouth disease since 2010, has been declared a protected area from sheep and goat pox (PPR) disease in 2020, and a sheep and goat pox-free zone as of 2022. We invite all our breeders to be sensitive to this sensitive situation and that our field controls will continue within this framework.”

South Korea: National South Korean Beef Association Wanju-Gun Branch Completed Livestock Materials Warehouse (Mar 1)

Through the establishment of a livestock material warehouse, which was a long-cherished project necessary for the joint purchase of feed for the National Hanwoo Association, the Korean Beef Association Wanju-gun branch plans to make efforts to reduce production costs for local Korean cattle farmers and develop the Korean beef industry. On the 23rd of last month, the Wanju-gun branch of the Korean Beef Association held a livestock materials warehouse completion ceremony at 29, Seobong-ri, Wanju-gun, Jeollabuk-do, attended by many guests. The Wanju-gun branch of the Korean Beef Association purchased the land on January 15, 2021, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the building on May 13 last year, and completed the building on December 23 last year.

South Korea: ‘Voluntary Reduction of Korean Beef’ Held at Regular General Meeting of National Korean Beef Association (Mar 2)

At the 2023 regular general meeting held at the Talent Education Training Institute on the 27th of last month, the National Korean Beef Association (Chairman Kim Sam-joo) decided on 'autonomous reduction of Korean beef cows', and the 2022 business settlement and 2023 business plan and budget (draft) were decided. At the 'Korean Cattle Reduction Rally' held prior to the regular general meeting, as both the Korean cattle industry community and the public were participating in the efforts to stabilize the Korean beef industry, 70K head of Korean cattle were reduced for the responsible self-rescue efforts and practice of Korean cattle farmers. The voluntary reduction of cows is set in consideration of the rate of change in farms raising 100 or more Korean cattle by region, the number of Korean cattle raised, and the number of members.

South Korea: Chungcheongbuk-Do Reduces South Korean Beef Breeding (Mar 2)

Chungcheongbuk-do is promoting a reduction project to maintain an appropriate number of Korean cattle. According to Chungcheongbuk-do on the 2nd, the number of Korean cattle raised in the province was 248K, 7% of the total (3.528M) nationwide as of December last year. Compared to 205K in 2018, it increased by 21% (43K). The province will reduce support for artificial insemination fees and fertilized egg transfer procedures to reduce the breeding of Korean cattle by next year. The artificial insemination fee increased from USD 0.13M (174.5M won) representing 8.73K animals last year to USD 0.063M (83M won), 4.15K animals this year. A provincial official said, "These budgets will decrease next year as well," and "the number of Korean cattle breeding will decrease by 20 to 30% compared to now."

South Korea: Oversupply and Price Decline of South Korean Beef to Continue (Mar 3)

As the oversupply phase of Korean beef begins, the price decline is expected to continue. Through observations in March, the Korea Rural Economic Institute predicted that the number of Korean cattle raised in March and June would increase by 2-3% compared to last year, and accordingly, the number of Korean cattle slaughtered in the first and second quarters would also increase by 9-10% compared to last year. The number of breeding animals this year is expected to reach 3.57M, the highest ever. Although the number of animals under one-year-old is decreasing, the trend of increase in the number of breeding animals is expected to continue due to the influence of fertile cows and the accumulated number of breeding animals. In the mid-to-long term, the number of breeding animals is expected to decline after reaching a record high this year. It starts to decrease to 3.47M next year and is expected to reach 3.352M by 2025. 

Ukraine: Cattle Population Decreased by 13.9% In January (Feb 27)

As of February 1, 2023, the number of cattle in Ukraine was 2.3M, which is 13.9% less than on the same date last year. At the same time, the number of cows decreased by 15.6% to 1.3M heads. In particular, the industrial sector keeps 931.6K cattle, which is 7.8% less than at the beginning of February last year. Of them, there are 388.2K cows, 9.1% less than in January 2022. In January 2023, the number of cattle in households decreased by 21.7%, as compared to the same period of the previous year, to 1.4M heads. In particular, the number of cows decreased by 18.3% to 950.8K. Livestock reduction is observed in all regions of Ukraine, with the exception of the Khmelnytskyi region, where the number of cattle increased by 1.9%, as compared to February 1, 2022.

Ukraine: An Active Increase in Cattle Carcass Prices Is Observed in February (Feb 28)

This is the second wave of price strengthening since the start of the full-scale war in the spring of 2022, purchase prices for live cattle fell sharply, by almost 30-40% (depending on the region) and remained low until August. Since beef production is mainly an export-oriented industry, the blocking of ports was a strong blow to the market, reports UKAB. The first increase in prices was observed at the beginning of autumn in 2022, as the pre-war volumes of export deliveries had already been established, which provoked a gradual increase in demand and activation of the market. In addition, macro-financial indicators (inflation rate) also affect the cost of products.

Ukraine: In Lviv Oblast, USD 0.82K Will Be Paid for One Cow (Mar 3)

A subsidy for the increase of cows will be provided to micro, small, and medium-sized business entities on a non-refundable basis in the amount of up to USD 0.82K/head (30K hryvnias) for the increased or newly created herd of cows in the period from April 1 of the previous year to April 1 of the current year, identified and registered in accordance with the law. The subsidy for the increase in the number of cows will be calculated on the difference between the number of cows as of April 1 of the current year and the number of cows as of April 1 of the previous year, confirmed by an extract from the Unified State Register of Animals, provided that the total number of the main herd will not be reduced during the year (until April 1 of the following year). Documents for obtaining a subsidy will be accepted from April 1 to May 1 of the current year. USD 0.25M (9M hryvnias) was allocated from the regional budget for a subsidy for the increase of cows. In the case of a decrease in the number of cows as of April 1 of the following year, business entities must return the received budget funds to the regional budget in full in accordance with the procedure established by law.

Thailand: Department of Livestock Development Slows Down Imports of Cattle From Myanmar After FMD Outbreak (Feb 28)

Veterinarian Somchuan Ratanamangkhalanon Director General of the Department of Livestock Development issued a letter of announcement on the suspension of importation or transit through the Kingdom of cattle, buffaloes, or carcasses of cattle from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, B.E. 2566 (2023). The World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) reported an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, which such animal epidemics can spread widely. The main cause is the movement of sick animals or animals that carry disease or carcasses of animals which are sick or dead.

Morocco: Has Not Detected Any Cases of Mad Cow Disease in Cattle Imported From Brazil (Mar 3)

All imported live animals are subject to strict control before entering Morocco. Morocco imported cattle from Latin America to meet the need and rising meat prices. At the same time, Brazil reported a case of mad cow disease, but the batch imported by Morocco is not infected, according to the National Food Safety Office (ONSSA). The first batch of calves imported from Brazil and Uruguay was slaughtered on February 15 in a slaughterhouse in Beni Mellal, in the presence of representatives of the importing company, ONSSA, and the economic affairs and regional coordination. ONSSA has confirmed that only healthy animals are allowed to enter the national territory in response to suspected mad cow cases in Brazil.

Venezuela: Vaccination Against Foot-And-Mouth Disease Advances Successfully on the Border (Mar 2)

The preliminary report indicates that in the first seven days of the vaccination day, about 18% of the total projected bovine and buffalo inventory have been immunized. 310K cattle and buffaloes have already been vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease in the border areas with Venezuela, reveals the joint report of ICA and Fedegán-FNG. 

Indonesia: Nearly a Year of FMD Outbreak Entered RI, Vaccination Has Not Been Done (Mar 2)

Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Lt. Gen. Suharyanto said vaccination for livestock in Indonesia has only reached 25%. He says that the PMK vaccination can reach all livestock this year. BNPB data shows, as of 27 February 2023, no new cases of PMK had been reported. There were 620.19K PMK cases recorded in the country, with active cases reaching 5.98K cases. In addition, there were no daily deaths reported, but 4 cattle were conditionally slaughtered on 27 February 2023. BNPB noted that there were 10.044M cattle that received the FMD vaccination while the vaccines received were 13.463M. This means that there are only 3.105M vaccine doses remaining.

Fresh Beef

Global: Uncertainty Ahead for Beef Industry (Feb 27)

According to a new report from Rabobank, 2022 was a year to remember for the global beef industry, with record retail and farmgate prices in many regions due to strong consumer demand and limited supplies. Brazil also achieved record export volumes and returns due to growing Chinese demand. However, consumer sentiment softened in late 2022, leading to weaker beef prices in early 2023. Total beef production is forecast to be steady in the first quarter of 2023, with a 5% lift in Australian and a 2% increase in Brazilian production, almost enough to offset declines in the US., EU, and New Zealand. The global supply through 2023 is expected to become more limited as US production dips. Cattle prices across most regions have continued their downward trend, with the notable exception being the US, where more limited supplies are providing price support.

Global: USDA Forecasts the World Meat Market in 2023 (Feb 28)

Global beef production is forecast to decline slightly to 59.2M MT in 2023. Although output is expected to increase in China, Brazil, and Australia, it will decline in the US and EU. Global beef exports are also forecast to decline by 1.2% in 2023 to 12.1M MT due to reduced demand, particularly in China. Brazil is expected to hit record-high exports as supplies from key competitors such as Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and India tighten. The reduction in production is also expected to limit the amount of meat exported from the US and Canada to Southeast Asia but will increase beef exports from the Australian market. 

Global: Rising to the Challenge; Global Commodity Markets (Mar 1)

Global beef pricing will be shaped by converging pressures in 2023; tightening global beef supplies and weakening consumer demand. It is not clear whether supply or demand side pressures will be the stronger force, however, tight beef supplies will provide an elevated pricing floor for the farmgate beef price in New Zealand. Demand from China is likely to show recovery from Q2, as it emerges from the economic effects of widespread lockdowns in 2022. In the US, a recessionary environment is expected to drive up the consumption of lower value cuts such as mince, supporting demand for New Zealand lean trimmings. Rabo-Research anticipates that the North Island bull price will remain above the five-year average price of USD 3.37/kg (NZ$5.50) cwt in 2023, but is not likely to return to the highs seen in 2022.

Latin America: This Is How Mercosur Meat Exports Started in 2023 (Mar 2)

Beef shipments from Argentina and Brazil grew in January 2023, while in Uruguay the volume decreased but the value increased. These are the figures reported by these countries at the start of the new year, before the news of a new suspension of exports from Brazil to China. According to a report in the Argentine newspaper El Clarín, in January meat exports grew in volume and value, but in recent months there has been "a persistent downward trend in prices in the main destinations." Thus, in the first 31 days of 2023, they shipped nearly 50.4K MT of refrigerated and frozen beef worth USD 206.4M. The volumes shipped show an advance of 3.5%, while the value obtained shows an increase of 7.9% compared to December 2022. In relation to the month of January 2022, the volumes exported were 30.9% higher; while the value obtained fell 4.1%. Brazilian beef exports reached 160.2K MT shipping weight in January, a record for the first month of the year and 16% above January 2022. The average value per ton was USD 4.84K, the lowest level since December 2021, when China suspended imports from this country due to two cases of “mad cow disease”. According to the environment, the collapse is due to lower demand from China, although it still receives 51% of Uruguayan meat. The price increased in the last two weeks. Exports of beef fell 39% in January and represented income of USD 131M compared to USD 215M a year ago. On the other hand, the price of a ton of exported meat increased by 15% in two weeks.

US: Beef Prices Are Rising and Slaughter Remains at Record Highs (Mar 3)

As discussed in Meat & Livestock Australia's (MLA) recent January livestock report, the dynamics of the US cattle population is a significant driver of cattle prices at Australian auctions. As a competitor to Australian beef, the US market subsequently influences the Australian market. In the last few years, the United States has seen a decline in livestock. In January, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) published data showing that the herd decreased by 3% to 89.3M head. At the same time, US slaughter rates are likely to decline later this year, and the end of the drought in the southern and southwestern regions of the US is likely to lead to an aggressive recovery of herds, which will limit supply and increase demand (and prices) for Australian cattle and beef. In the first five weeks of 2023, US slaughter was 3.16M head of cattle (unchanged from last year).

US: Ranchers in the United States Demand the Immediate Cessation of Imports of Brazilian Beef (Mar 3)

The US National Beef Breeders Association (NCBA) calls for the immediate cessation of imports of Brazilian beef. Given the official confirmation in W8 of a positive case of BSE in Brazil and the fact that 35 days elapsed between the time since the case was first identified on January 18, 2023, and confirmed on February 22, 2023, the NCBA asserts that this is an unacceptable delay that clearly violates WOAH's reporting requirements.

New Zealand: Rabobank Bullish on Beef Sales to Re-Awakening Market (Mar 1)

Food and beverage retail sales in China are expected to rebound strongly this year as the country emerges from covid pandemic restrictions, according to a new report from Rabobank. The report said changes in Chinese consumer behavior and an accumulation of savings could fuel economic growth, providing new opportunities, especially for beef. Food and beverage retail sales in 2022 grew marginally due to the country’s ongoing covid restrictions. “But positive signs of recovery are emerging and in the week-long Spring Festival (in February), retail and food service sales increased by 6.8% year on year,” Rabobank agricultural analyst Genevieve Steven said. Total beef imports to China rose 15% YoY in 2022 and while demand is expected to grow, new imports will be tempered by a high inventory of frozen products. Brazilian beef exports to China were banned following the discovery of BSE in the South American country, but Steven said shipments are expected to resume this month. New Zealand beef production declined 4% in 2022 as fewer beef cows were processed due to favorable weather conditions. There were also fewer dairy heifers and cows processed due to strong dairy returns, along with lower numbers of dairy beef steers and heifers due to fewer calves being retained in the 2019/20 season. Despite these lower volumes, NZ export beef earnings rose 20% with exports to China and Japan both growing 5% while volumes to the US fell 22% due to reduced demand for lean trimmings.

Ireland: Irish Beef Outlook for 2023 (Mar 3)

Ireland is the largest supplier of beef to the UK, with Irish products continuing to be a mainstay in the UK market. According to Bord Bia’s 2023 Irish beef sector outlook, c.90% of the value of Irish beef exports go to the EU and UK marketplace. With the UK making up 43% of the total value of Irish beef exports at USD 1.17B (€1.1B) in 2022, any change in production or trade across the Irish sea could impact domestic prices here. In 2022, Irish cattle throughputs were up 7% YoY at 1.82M head (Bord Bia) with cattle finished younger in H2 2022, reducing the need for additional feed or fodder. This is due to high input costs squeezing margins as knock-on effects from the war in Ukraine resulted in high energy and on-farm costs. 

Mexico: In the Nuevo León Agricultural Council, They See the Entry of Beef From Brazil as a Risk (Feb 28)

From the Nuevo León Agricultural Council (CEANL) they called on the federal authorities to review the terms and sanitary requirements for importing Brazilian beef, derived from the recent case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the South American country. This happens after Francisco Javier Calderón Elizalde, chief director of the National Agri-Food Health, Safety and Quality Service (Senasica), revealed during the Meat and Dairy Expo 2023 that Mexico opened its market to said animal protein and that they were days away to define the final details, such as the risk analysis. In said event, the official announced that commercial ties with key suppliers would continue to be strengthened to facilitate the importation of meat, in order for consumers to have access to food at affordable prices.

Mexico: Opening Borders to Meat From Brazil but Does Not Ask For Anything in Return (Mar 3)

Juan Carlos Anaya Castellanos, general director of the Grupo Consultor de Mercados Agrícolas (GCMA), explained that although the opening of the Mexican market for Brazilian beef took the sector by surprise, for now, this should not be a cause for concern for producers, in commercial or sanitary matters. He commented that although Brazil is an important participant in the global beef industry, its production schemes are different, so the characteristics of the final product do not appeal to a great extent to the North American market. According to the Mexican Meat Council, in 2021 Brazil was the second largest producer of beef worldwide, with 9.2M MT, surpassed only by the United States.

Brazil: Brazilian Beef Exports Reached Significant Volume at the Opening of 2023 (Feb 27)

The total shipped reached close to 181.8K MT, an increase of 4.9% over last December and 16.4% compared to January of last year. The accumulated volume in twelve months, February 2022 to January 2023, totaled 2.289M MT, a significant increase of 22.1% over the immediately previous twelve months. Preliminary data on shipments throughout February, projected for the entire month, indicate the possibility of a major downturn in the volume shipped. 

Brazil: China Has Lost Brazil as Its Great Supplier of Beef (Feb 27)

With Brazil, the leading supplier, out of this market for a month in principle, will there be new opportunities for Argentina? It will depend on how long this scenario lasts and what Asians are willing to pay. To put the idea to order, China has exploded as an exclusive buyer of beef globally for about a decade. It is basically supplied in Brazil (40% of the total), Argentina (18%), and Uruguay (15%) as major suppliers. The giant accounts for 75-77% of Brazilian beef exports and is equally key for the other two members of Mercosur. In this context, the news that Brazil would be out of the Chinese market for about four weeks is generating repercussions on both sides of the Rio de la Plata, where commercial opportunities are glimpsed. Brazil got into trouble after a case of a mad cow was detected in the northern state of Paris. It should be remembered that China and Brazil signed a protocol whereby, in cases like this, meat sales must stop for at least four weeks. 

Tridge Analysis: Implications of the Temporary Suspension of Brazilian Beef Exports to China (Feb 28)

In W8, the Brazilian government announced that it would be suspending beef exports to China following the detection of a mad cow disease case in the state of Pará. While there’s no official timeline for the suspension, the Association of Brazilian exporters expects it will last until April. This is not the first time that Brazilian beef exports to China were suspended, as this happened in late 2021 as well, but at that time, the suspension lasted for 100 days, severely impacting Brazilian exporters, with losses of over USD 1B. The potential loss, according to the Association of Brazilian Exporters is about USD 500M. This amounts to almost the same amount that Brazil exported to China during January 2023, which was USD 485 million, according to the latest ABRAFRIGO data. (Continue Reading)

Brazil: Barbalho Predicts Rapid Resumption of Beef Sales to China (Mar 1)

The governor of Pará, Helder Barbalho (MDB), told Valor on Feb 28 that he believes that the results of the Canadian laboratory, expected in W9, should confirm that the case of "mad cow disease" identified in a bovine in Marabá (PA) is an unusual episode. Helder assesses that by the end of March, exports of Brazilian meat to the Chinese will have been reactivated. But he admits impact on the local market. On the 22nd, “mad cow” disease was identified in a 9-year-old male bovine from a property in Pará. After two confirmations in Brazil, samples from the animal were sent to the National Center for Animal Disease/Canadian Food Inspection Agency (NCAD/CFIA), in Canada, a reference laboratory of the World Organization for Animal Health (WHOA). Canadians will confirm whether it is an atypical episode or a classic case. Brazil has embargoed exports to China, as provided for in an agreement between the two countries in episodes of this type. 

Brazil: Suspension of Beef Shipments to China Due to BSE (Mar 1)

The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture confirmed an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), after which the supply of beef to China was suspended. This may lead to an increase in prices in the domestic market of China, according to the Chinese edition of Global Times. According to the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China, in 2022, China imported 2.688M MT of beef, of which 1.105M MT (41%) came from Brazil, which is the largest supplier of this meat to China. Following the cut in Brazilian supplies, some traders reportedly changed prices for a number of products.

Brazil: Uncertain Beef Prices in W9 as China’s Suspension on Brazilian Beef Imports Continues (Mar 1)

Meat processors are holding back on offering prices in W9 due to the BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease) declaration that came out of Brazil on 23 February 2023. The demand for beef exported to China from other nations will be affected if the Brazilian beef export ban is prolonged. Beef processors are holding onto their inventory as they observe what transpires.

Brazil: Four Countries Ban Beef From Brazil (Mar 3)

The Ministry of Agriculture reported, in response to Valor, that Brazilian beef exports are temporarily suspended to four countries due to the confirmation of an isolated case of “mad cow” disease in Pará. In addition to China, a partner with which Brazil maintains a sanitary protocol that requires the voluntary suspension of sales after the disease is notified (a measure adopted a week ago), Thailand, Iran, and Jordan also stopped importing the national protein. According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture's Agrostat consulted by Valor, Jordan imported 11.5K MT of beef from Brazil last year, in deals that generated USD 55.3M for Brazilian exporters. In Thailand, domestic slaughterhouses sold 6.1K MT of protein, with revenues of USD 17.1M. In the case of Iran, Brazilian sales totaled 1.3K MT, which generated USD 5.4M. On Mar 2, Russia imposed restrictions on purchases of beef produced in Pará.

Brazil: Brazilian Meat Exporters Turn To Neighboring Countries to Supply China (Mar 3)

Two of the three exporting companies announced that they are redirecting Chinese meat orders to their plants in Argentina and Uruguay. The effort is to mitigate the damage caused by the self-suspension of Brazilian exports by these companies and the entire chain. Due to the possible atypical case of "mad cow", the Ministry of Agriculture voluntarily suspended protein shipments, as provided for in the agreement with China. It is now up to Beijing to give the green light for the resumption of business, and there is no deadline for that. In 2019 there were 13 days of waiting while in 2021, more than 100 days.

Brazil: Brazilian Beef Export Closure Didn’t Affect Meat Prices in W9 (Mar 4)

In W9, the Brazilian export closure for the Chinese market due to the mad cow disease case has had no impact, as Brazil is confident the suspension will be lifted quickly. Brazilian exporters were reluctant to validate offers at USD 5.5K/MT CFR for a cow in six cuts offered by Argentine exporters not willing to pay more than USD 5.2K-5.3K/MT CFR. In mid-February, this product traded at around USD 4.8K-4.9K/MT, CFR.

Paraguay: Lower Meat Price Impacted Revenue in February (Mar 2)

Despite the greater volume exported, the reduction in the average price of Paraguayan beef had an impact on the foreign exchange generated as of February 2023, since a decrease of USD 20.7M (-9%) was registered, compared to the same period in 2022, according to Productiva's analysis of data from the National Animal Health and Quality Service (Senacsa). The increase in exported volume (3%) in this first two-month period of the year was not enough to offset the 11% drop in the average price of Paraguayan beef, according to Productiva's analysis. Until the last month, USD 214.1M was generated for shipments of 46.51K MT, while until February of last year, USD 235M was entered for 45.22K MT shipped. The price registered a drop of USD 590 in these first two months of the year. 

Argentina: Government Fine-Tuning Fight Against Informal Beef Trade (Feb 28)

Argentine exporters have been discovered inflating their expenses in their beef shipments to China leading to tax deductions of around USD 8.56M (AR$ 13M) (around USD 34.2K at the unofficial exchange rate), the AFIP tax bureau reported. The agency detected that taxpayers had artificially increased their expenses in order to reduce the amount on which taxes are calculated. As a result of the investigation, the AFIP re-assessed the profits declared by the audited companies by more than USD 26.35M (AR$ 40M) (around USD$ 105K at the unofficial exchange rate), which resulted in adjustments in excess of USD 8.56M (AR$ 13M). 

Argentina: Farm Prices in the Argentine Market Began to Suffer the Downward Impact of the May (Mar 2)

Just a few days ago, a commercial opportunity for Argentina and Uruguay opened up in the short term with the temporary suspension of Brazilian beef exports to China due to the detection of a sporadic case of “mad cow”. However, while Uruguay was able to take advantage of that event, Argentina was left with the “ñata against the glass” since the rapid spread of H5 avian influenza complicated everything. The General Index of the Cañuelas Agricultural and Livestock Market (IGMAG) was located at 355.2 and 360.9 on Feb 28 and Mar 1 of W9, while on February 17 it had reached a maximum of 407.9. The additional supply of poultry meat, as a result of the closure of exports prompted by the detection of an H5 avian influenza outbreak in a commercial poultry farm, represents a clear bearish factor in a domestic market where the impoverishment of consumers affected by accelerating inflation prevails.

Argentina: Cooperation With Malaysia to Strengthen Beef Exports From Argentina (Mar 3)

The National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (Senasa) and the Malaysian embassy in Argentina agreed to hold a seminar on the Halal rite with a view to strengthening beef exports from Argentina to that Asian destination. This was agreed by the vice president of Senasa, Rodolfo Acerbi, and the Malaysian ambassador to Argentina, Nur Azman bin Abdul Rahim, during a meeting held on Mar 3 at the headquarters of the health agency in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. The technical teams from Senasa and the Malaysian embassy will work on the organization of the Seminar that will be given by professionals from the Asian country and to which the Islamic Center, refrigeration plants, and religious rite certifiers will be invited to participate. The Malaysian ambassador pondered the "very high level in terms of production safety control" of the Argentine refrigerators and argued that it is necessary to improve what concerns the work under the Halal rite. 

Uruguay: Meat Exports Fell 21% In February (Mar 3)

Beef exports from Uruguay fell 21% in February, compared to the levels exported in the same month of 2022, and totaled USD 196M against USD 247M registered a year ago, according to data from Uruguay XXI. The reason was again the drop in exports to China, which had a strong impact on the downturn, according to Blasina y Asociados. In this sense, shipments to the Asian country fell by 36% compared to the previous year, and revenue from these businesses increased from USD 147M in February 2022 to USD 94M last month. 

Namibia: Namibian Beef Products Are Disease Free (Feb 28)

Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein said Namibian beef products from Northern Communal Area (NCA) abattoirs are disease-free like similar products from commercial areas of the country. This follows media reports in W8 that commercial farmers asked Ghanaian authorities to stop buying Namibian beef from the NCAs, claiming that it is contaminated with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). However, in a media statement on Feb 26, Schlettwein labeled the reports offensively false and malicious. He said the identity of those alleged to have communicated with the Ghanaian authorities are still unknown.

Russia: Suspension of Beef Imports From Brazil’s Para State After Mad Cow Disease Case (Mar 3)

Russia has suspended imports of beef from Brazil's Para state after the confirmation of a bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease case there, according to a report in Valor Economico's online edition citing Russia's food security agency Rosselkhoznadzor. The Brazilian agriculture ministry and Rosselkhoznadzor did not have an immediate comment on the ban. The Valor report said the suspension was enforced on Mar 1 and covers live animals, fresh and processed meat, and by-products. Brazil is investigating a case of BSE on a nine-year-old male animal from Para state. Discovery of the case was communicated on Feb. 20 and triggered a self-imposed ban on Brazilian beef sales to China. Tests are pending to determine whether the animal, which was destroyed, developed the classic or atypical form of the disease. 

Egypt: Will Egypt Ban the Import of Cows From Brazil? (Mar 5)

Major General Dr. Ehab Saber, Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Head of the Veterinary Services Authority, affirmed that there is absolutely no need to worry about the emergence of mad cow disease in Brazil, explaining that there is a permanent committee to follow up on these events and they are dealt with scientifically without causing concern to citizens. Saber said that the scientific committee will convene on Feb 5, which includes experts specialized in several fields. Saber added that the committee will take the right decision that protects the citizen's health, secures imports, and maintains prices after the emergence of mad cow disease.

Jordan: Halting Beef Imports From Brazil, Netherlands, and Spain Due to Mad Cow (Mar 3)

It was stated that Jordan suspended beef imports from Brazil, the Netherlands, and Spain due to the presence of mad cow cases. According to the news of Jordan's Al-Memleke television, Hazim es-Samadi, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture; said imports of live calves, processed, dried, and frozen beef from Brazil, the Netherlands and Spain have been halted. Samadi stated that after the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported that unusual cases were seen in Brazil and the Netherlands, the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture suspended beef purchases from these countries on February 26. 

China: Country Reopening Provides Opportunities for Beef (Mar 1)

Following a good year of record-breaking highs in beef exports in 2022, a new report from Rabobank suggests that 2023 will entail softened consumer sentiment and weaker beef prices. Retail and farmgate beef prices cracked records in many regions in 2022, driven by elevated consumer demand and tight beef supplies. Brazil also achieved record export volumes and returns in 2022, due to growing Chinese demand. The softening in consumer sentiment and subsequent weaker beef pricing in late 2022 has flowed through into early 2023. While beef supply settings are favorable for beef prices, consumer confidence will continue to be tested and have a bearing on beef returns. China will remain a focal point, as the world watches to see how quickly the giant emerges from COVID lockdowns amid a slowing economic environment. It is anticipated that Chinese demand for beef will pick up in 2H 2023, boosting global beef prices. The US will be the other focal point. After setting records in both volume and value terms for beef exports in 2022, numbers are starting to show a contraction in production. 

Indonesia: Struggling to Compete With China for the Supply of New Zealand’s Beef in W9 (Mar 3)

Indonesia finds it very difficult to afford New Zealand's beef due to high demand with higher prices from China. New Zealand's beef production plants registered to export to Indonesia are also authorized to export to China. It is almost impossible to procure any product for Indonesia. In China, the beef cuts that Indonesian prefer to buy sell on average for 31% more. Here are some comparisons of prices for W9. This situation is anticipated to continue for at least the next 12 months : (Prices in China - (Prices in Indonesia))

  • Beef Tenderloins 1.8kg +: USD 17.50/kg - (USD 13.12/kg)

  • Neck Bones: USD 2.27/kg - (USD 1.64/kg)

  • Brisket Bones: USD 2.05/kg - (USD 1.31/kg)

  • Lips: USD 3.15/kg - (USD 2.62/kg)

  • Hearts: USD 2.75/kg - (USD 2.30/kg)

  • Tongue Roots: USD 2.10/kg - (USD 1.64/kg

Iran: All Brazilian Meat on the Market Is Safe With Temporary Suspension of Imports (Mar 4)

According to Isna, citing the public relations of the country's veterinary organization, it issued a notice regarding red meat imported to the country: "Fortunately, all the meat imported to our country that is currently distributed or entered the market; has already been under the maximum control of supervisors and veterinary experts and has been diagnosed as completely hygienic, and there is no need to worry about buying and consuming what has been purchased so far or from the meat currently available in the stores where the supply is authorized and under veterinary supervision.” At the same time, citing the official report of the Ministry of Agriculture of Brazil, which announced that due to the detection of a case of mad cow disease in the state of Pará, Iran has stopped importing meat from all over Brazil.

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