Demand for beef outstrips supply in US

Demand for beef in the US is outstripping supply, according to Kevin Grier, a Market Analyst of North America.

Canada and the US is one industry when it comes to cattle – there isn’t a thick border there, he said.

“The North American cow herd declined for 15 years in a row and there was a modest increase in 2015.

“The herd is finally starting to build again in the US.”

In 2015, 30m head were slaughtered and the calf crop has started to increase but it is still very small. Grier said that this in turn leads to higher feeder cattle prices.

Packers are suffering with decline in supply – US packer Tyson had losses in 2015 and it is struggling according to Grier.

Other packers Cargill and National Beef have closed plants and there has been several cow plant closures, he said.

Some packers are downsizing due to short supplies.

Beef exports declined dramatically in 2004, following BSE cases in cattle, Grier said.

“There is record tight supplies and the kill isn’t expected to reach 2013 levels until 2020. There is very strong demand for beef in the US.

Irish beef exports to US were worth €11m in 2015

Irish beef exports to the US last year were worth approximately €11m according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture.

This is significantly short of the €50-100m value the Minister for Agriculture had predicted was possible in the first year, when he launched Irish beef on the US market.

Ireland was the first and is still the only Member State to get USDA and FSIS approval to export beef to the US, and the export value of beef to the US in 2015 was approximately €11m the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

Brendan Gleeson, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Agriculture, told the Bord Bia Meat Prospects Seminar that Irish beef exports in the form of mince (or grinding or manufacturing beef) will be next on the menu for the US.