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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Global beef production expected to increase by 700,000 tonnes in 2021

Covid-19 has been a key factor behind a decline in global beef production during 2020.

That is according to the latest available information from Gira, a strategic consultancy and market research firm.

The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) has analysed the latest data and compiled the following article.

What has impacted beef production in 2020?

The report notes that widespread weaker demand for beef globally, due to a decline in foodservice demand, combined with plant closures and reduced processing capacity to curb disease spread impacted beef production in key regions during 2020.

In addition, the ongoing impacts of drought and herd rebuilding in Australia have also impacted global beef supplies.

The most notable decline in beef production during 2020 was recorded in Brazil. Here, beef output is expected to be back by four per cent or just over 400,000 tonnes.

A strong decline in production also occurred in China with output back in the region of 220,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, Australia output for 2020 is expected to be back eight per cent or almost 200,000 tonnes.

There was some recovery in beef production the second half of 2020; however, despite this improvement, overall beef production is forecast to end the year two per cent lower than 2019 levels.

Recovery in production

The recovery in production recorded in the second half of 2020 is expected to carry through into 2021. Global beef production next year is expected to increase by one per cent or 700,000 tonnes.

This increase is driven primarily by a four per cent increase in beef output in the US which is the equivalent of an additional 500,000 tonnes of beef.

An increase in beef production is also forecast in China during 2021 with an additional 200,000 tonnes of beef expected to come onto the market.

There is; however, expected to be a 3% decline recorded in beef output in Argentina with production in Brazil expected to be back by 2% and a further one per cent decline in the EU-27 next year. These declines will offset some of the gains made by increased production in the US.

Longer-term outlook

Global beef production is expected to increase in the longer-term. Global output of beef is expected to increase by 2.5 million tonnes or four per cent between 2021 and 2025.

Strong increases in beef production in both Argentina and Brazil is expected by 2025.  Output is expected to increase in both countries in the region of 300,000 tonnes.

A 10% increase in beef production is expected in Australia by 2025 as it recovers from the longer-term impacts of drought with beef production, primarily from buffalo, is expected to grow by 17 per cent or 380,000 tonnes in India.

Some of this growth in beef output by 2025 is expected to be offset by declines in production in the US which is forecast to be back by 3%. A 2% decline is also expected in beef output from the EU-27 by 2025.

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