Global Beef Trends: China and Brazil Grab the Spotlight

by David A. Widmar

In late March, the beef industry was rocked by a meat scandal in Brazil that created concerns about quality and safety controls. Many countries, including China, temporarily halted imports of Brazilian beef while the scale and scope of the issues were sorted out. In light of these events, it is worthwhile to step back and reflect on beef trends (as we did a few weeks ago with corn here and here). This week’s post considers the global beef trends – including consumption, production, imports, and export.

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Pass the Meat: U.S. Meat Consumption Turns Higher

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by David A. Widmar

Growth in demand for agricultural products is an important step in improving the economic outlook for production agriculture, especially in light of abundant global inventories. Growth in demand, or consumption, is often slow as the key drivers – population and consumption trends- are themselves slow to change. This year the livestock sector received some good news as the USDA reported increases in per capita consumption for several categories of meat. In this week’s post, we take a look at the long-run trends in U.S. meat consumption.

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China’s Impact on Global Agriculture in 11 Graphs

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by David A. Widmar

Recent disappointing economic activity from China has markets and observers around the World nervous. Everyone is wondering how severe the conditions are and what the potential impacts may be. Agriculture has not been insulated as market commentators have recently cited these concerns in response to nervous commodity markets.

This is a significant change in tone from just a few years ago when rapid economic growth in China, fueled by its population of 1.4 billion and rising incomes, helped power the recent boom in agriculture. Concerns are mounting that a slowdown in China’s economy may exacerbate the current downturn in U.S. agriculture.

To better understand how China interacts with the global agricultural market, we took a look at 11 commodities and how China’s production, consumption, and imports of these commodities scale at a global level. Data for this were collected from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Continue reading