Increases in the global demand for meat over the next decade is expected to be driven by improved economic growth in developing countries.

This is according to analysts at the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) who also note demand in developed countries expected to remain steady according to the latest annual projections from US Department of Agriculture (USDA.

According to the LMC, the US data shows that global meat consumption is forecast to grow at 1.9 per cent per annum during 2014-2023 with demand from the developing world driven by rising incomes and growing populations.

“This growth will result in the increasing importance of developing countries, particularly China, India, other areas of developing Asia, Africa and Latin America in the global meat market,” it said.

The LMC also highlighted with increased demand for meat from these regions the USDA has forecast a 22 per cent increase in world meat trade due to improved standards of living and higher levels of disposable income.

Interestingly it added beef production in Asian countries is forecast to grow over the next decade, particularly in India. Demand from developing countries for India’s lower priced and lower quality buffalo origin beef is projected to continue rising rapidly with India’s increasing exports expected to account for 36 per cent of the forecast increases in world beef exports over the next 10 years.

The LMC also highlighted that the USDA has predicted increases in livestock production and per capita red meat consumption in the US over the next decade as the agricultural industry recovers from high feed costs and problems with drought.

It said beef production is projected to decline until 2016 as producers retain heifers to help build up herds and to increase gradually thereafter. Beef cow numbers in the US are expected to increase from 29 million in 2013 to 33 million in 2023. This 14 per cent increase in beef cow numbers and projected increases in slaughter weights will further add to total beef production.

The LMC cited that Australia has generally been the world’s second largest beef exporter behind Brazil but with Australia’s beef herd currently rebuilding after declines due to prolonged periods of drought has meant Australian beef exports are forecast to stagnate over the next decade.

It said the USDA forecasts this stagnation in exports will result in exports from India and the US to overtake Australia and make it the fourth largest global beef exporter.

Canada is another key player in the global meat market according to LMC, but its cow herd has contracted in recent years. With stronger returns producers are expected to rebuild herds and as a result beef exports are projected to rise steadily but not to exceed the levels recorded in the previous decade.