Beef Shortage in United States

The number of cattle held by the largest producer of beef in the world is the lowest in the past 63 years, leading to futures prices in January rising to $1,432 per pound of meat.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In the U.S., a shortfall in the amount of livestock is negatively affecting this year's meat production, which is expected to be the lowest in the last two decades, according to the Department of Agriculture (USDA). This industry is worth about $85 billion.

A long list of problems is affecting the sector, one of which is the drought affecting more than 80% of Texas, the state with the highest production levels. "The dry grass is not nutritious and farmers are struggling to recover."

" ... Retail meat costs are at a record high, hitting the pockets of consumers. Ranchers had nearly 90 million head of cattle as of 1 January. This is the lowest figure for that date since 1951, marking the seventh consecutive year of contractions."

More on this topic

Livestock: Good Numbers in the Midst of the Crisis

April 2020

During the first quarter of the year in Costa Rica 99,662 cattle were slaughtered, 4% more than reported in the same period in 2019, which is largely explained by shipments to the market in China.

Although the spread of covid-19 has negatively impacted most economic sectors worldwide, data from the Livestock Corporation (Corfoga) detail that between January and March 2019 and the same period of 2020, the number of cattle slaughtered increased by 3981, from 95681 to 99662.

Beef: Regional Market Up 4%

March 2020

In the last five years, beef consumption in Central America increased 4%, from 335,000 tons in 2014 to about 347,000 tons in 2019, growth that was boosted by the Salvadoran and Honduran markets.

Figures from the "Beef Market Snapshot" prepared by the Trade Intelligence Unit of CentralAmericaData, detail that in the last two years’ regional consumption of beef registered a slight increase, since between 2018 and 2019 it is estimated that demand in Central America rose from 341 thousand metric tons to 347 thousand tons.

Increased Global Demand for Beef

June 2013

It has been projected that in 2013 global beef exports will grow by 7.6%, approaching 9 million tons.

From an article by the Costa Rican Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER):

Projections for 2013 indicate that the expansion of international trade of beef will continue, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), world beef exports will grow by 7.6% and will be located around 9 million tons.

U.S. Produces Less Beef

September 2012

Drought has affected livestock production in the United States by up to 4%, which means business opportunities for Central American producers.

A statement from the Costa Rican Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) reads:

Drought could reduce by nearly 4% of beef production in the U.S.

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