Global Beef Industry 'A Two-Part Story', Says Rabobank

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Share this article
Global Beef Industry 'A Two-Part Story', Says Rabobank

The global beef industry continues to be a 'two-part story', Rabobank has said, with ongoing strong consumer demand in the US matched by reduced cattle and beef supplies, as well as high inventory levels and weak demand in Asia.

Rabobank made its assessment in its latest Global Beef Quarterly report, which covers the fourth quarter of this year.

Southern Hemisphere meat markets continue to see an increase in production volumes, it added, with increases in Brazil and Asia, however this has not been enough to offset the declines in Europe and the US.

Beef production in the markets that Rabobank monitors is expected to decline 1% year-on-year in full year 2023, with the group adding that it expects 2024 to play out 'in a similar fashion'.

Cattle Prices

Rabobank has noted a sustained high level of North American cattle prices, contrasting with softer prices in Southern Hemisphere countries.


Australian cattle prices have significantly declined, showing a 28% drop since June. Meanwhile, New Zealand and Brazil also experienced decreases, albeit to a lesser extent. In the United States, cattle prices remained stable, while Canadian prices witnessed a 3% increase from June to October.

Middle East Conflict

According to Rabobank, the ongoing conflict in the Middle East is not expected to significantly affect beef trade. The combined import volumes of Israel and the Palestinian territories represent only about 1% of global beef imports.

Even if the conflict were to extend across the broader Middle East and North Africa region, the bank suggests that the impact on global beef trade would remain relatively minimal.

JBS Investment

Earlier this month, JBS, the Brazilian meatpacking giant, revealed plans to reopen its beef unit in Diamantino, Mato Grosso state. The company also announced a significant investment, with an initial injection of 300 million reais (€56.4 million), part of a total investment of 800 million reais (€150.4 million), aimed at transforming the facility into the largest beef plant in Latin America.

Upon the completion of restoration and expansion works scheduled for January 2024, JBS expects to create 1,600 new jobs in the region.

Get the week's top grocery retail news

The most important stories from European grocery retail direct to your inbox every Thursday

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.