GLOBAL - The beef cattle herd in Asian countries grew last year, with a large proportion of the increases in India and Pakistan.
In contrast, the cattle herd in Japan and Korea continued to fall in numbers and in Thailand, crops are replacing cattle production according to analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia.
The said that beef production in Asia also increased in 2014, largely because of a seven per cent increase in production in India following high slaughter and increased carcase weights according to figures taken from the market analyst organisation GIRA in their March 2015 presentation.
China remained the largest beef importer, regionally and globally, with a significant increase from Indian buffalo meat, alongside Australia being the biggest official imported beef supplier.
Other than the increased importance of India as an exporter, beef exports from other countries in Asia remained relatively small.
China was also the largest consumer of beef within the region, with consumption estimated to have grown 3.2 per cent in 2014 – most of which were attributed to imports.
As global supplies tightened in 2014, beef prices were reportedly high across the region in 2014.
The outlook for 2015 continues to indicate further growth in the Indian cattle and buffalo herd, with bovine production estimated to increase 5.2 per cent in 2015 and exports to grow by seven per cent year-on-year.
Bovine meat imports into China are expected to continue growing, although at a lower rate amid high prices and competition from other proteins.
Overall Asian beef demand for 2015 is predicted to remain positive, with a decline forecast in Thailand, offset by growth to China, while Japan will remain relatively flat.
Although Australian beef exports to the region are expected to decline in 2015 due to anticipated tighter supply, strong demand fundamentals will continue to maintain value of Australian beef in the region.
TheMeatSite News Desk