The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its Livestock and Poultry - World Markets and Trade July outlook this week and it shows minimal changes from the April outlook.

The most notable changes are the ongoing increase in Brazil’s beef and poultry meat exports, while global pork export forecasts are increased by 2%.

Also, the impact of drought in Argentina is reflected by a much higher cattle kill than previously forecast.


Global beef production is forecast by USDA to increase by 1% on the April forecast to 59.6m tonnes.

Argentina’s output is forecast to increase by 6% due to the drought, while US production is forecast to be 1% higher than previously forecast.

New Zealand production is also forecast to increase, up 3%, as more dairy-bred calves are reared for beef, while lower slaughter weights and high input costs are expected to lead to a 1% reduction in EU beef production.

On trade, the total volume is expected to remain around 12.1m tonnes, with some change in volumes between countries.

Argentina, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand are all revised upwards, while Mexico, the UK and the EU are all forecast to decline.

Brazil’s exports are forecast to increase by 38,000t carcase weight equivalent (CWE), Australia is forecast to increase by 25,000t and New Zealand by 30,000t.

The biggest decline is forecast for the EU, down by 45,000t, and both Mexico and the UK are forecast to decline by 30,000t this year.


Global pigmeat production is forecast to be 114.8m tonnes, with increases in China, Canada and Brazil offsetting decline in the EU, Japan, Philippines and Mexico.

Loss-making prices in China are having the effect of increasing slaughter rates, while environmental controls are offered by USDA as the explanation for reduction in EU pigmeat production.

Global pork exports are expected to be 2% higher than the April forecast at 10.8m tonnes, with the main volume increases in the US and Brazil more than offsetting the drop in exports from Canada, the UK and the EU.

USDA also says that these increased supplies will enable the US and Brazil to gain market share in Asian markets, particularly South Korea and Philippines.

Poultry meat

USDA’s July forecast is in line with April’s for global poultry meat production at 103.5m tonnes, with a marginal 1% increase in export forecast to 13.8m tonnes.

Brazil export forecast is raised by 2% to 4.8m tonnes, while Thailand is revised upwards by 5% to 1.1m tonnes.


Sheepmeat production is relatively small in the US and not included in this USDA forecast. There is no major variance with earlier forecasts.

It is interesting to note that USDA forecast static imports of beef by China in 2023 - this has been a trend over recent forecasts, yet Chinese customs import data points to ongoing increases in beef import volumes, even if the rate of increase has slowed down.

The other figure that is worth noting is that USDA is forecasting a small increase in Australian beef exports for 2023; this appears at variance with Meat and Livestock Australia’s recent forecast, which revised production and export volumes upwards by a significant amount.

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