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India takes over as world’s largest beef exporter

Beef Central, 04/10/2012

India is on track to overtake Australia as the world’s largest exporter of beef and veal in 2012, according to latest forecasts released by Meat & Livestock Australia.

Exports of Indian beef and buffalo meat are forecast to total 1.52 million tonnes in 2012, having surged by more than 70pc from a figure of 900,000t in 2010.

India is followed by Australia (1.4mt); Brazil (1.3mt), the United States (1.2mt), New Zealand (544,000t); Canada (450,000t); the European Union (445,000t); Uruguay (315,000t); Argentina (280,000t).

India is also home to the world’s largest cattle herd with 324 million head, followed by Brazil (197 million head); China (104 million head); the US (90.8m); the European Union (86.5m); Argentina (49.3m); Colombia (30.9m); Australia (29.6m); the nations of the former Soviet Union (28.3m) and Mexico (20m head).

The title of world’s largest beef exporter has been shared between three different countries in the past three years, with Brazil topping the list in 2010 and Australia in 2011.

Meanwhile Russia is on track to retain its position as the world’s largest importer of beef and veal by volume for the third consecutive year, with imports forecast to total 1.14 million tonnes in 2012.

Russia is followed by the US (1.11mt); Japan (756,000t); Vietnam (400,000t), South Korea (390,000t); EU (360,000t); Mexico (300,000t); Canada (280,000t), Egypt (230,000t) and Malaysia (190,000t).

The United States remains the world’s largest producer of beef and veal, with production expected to total 11.4 million tonnes in 2012.

The list of the 10 largest producers of beef in volume terms is rounded out by Brazil (9.2mt), the 27 member countries of the European Union (7.9mt), China (5.5mt), India (3.5mt), the former Soviet Union (2.9mt); Argentina (2.6mt); Australia (2.1mt); Mexico (1.8mt); Canada (1.2mt).

Global beef production is expected to total 57 million tonnes in 2012, slightly up on last year but still below the rolling five year average of 57,314mt.

Global beef exports are forecast to total 8.7m in 2012, well above the current five year average of 7.9mt.

In per capita beef consumption terms, based on USDA data, Uruguayans remain the world’s biggest eaters of beef, with average consumption per head of 60.7kg. Argentina (55kg/hd) and Brazil (38.5kg/hd) complete a South

American trifecta for the top three positions, followed by the US (36kg/hd); Australia (35.2kg/hd); Canada (30kg/hd); NZ (27.7kg/hd); New Zealand (27.7kg/hd); Hong Kong (23.8kg/hd) and Russia (18kg/hd).

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