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Beef Market Outlook (Baptiste Buczinski)

Welcome again to our monthly Beef Market Outlook report, where we uncover the latest happenings in the world beef cattle markets across Europe, Brazil, China, and the USA. Our insights draw from comprehensive data to ensure you’re informed about the key trends shaping the industry landscape.

Feel free to SEE and share this valuable content. 

 


 

CURRENT GLOBAL BEEF MARKET PRICES

Cattle prices are still under pressure in China and Brazil due to weak purchasing power. In Europe, prices remained quite high in April (tight supply) and declined in the US (HPAI discovered dairy farms).

 


 

BEEF CATTLE MARKET IN EUROPE

Young male beef prices fell slightly in April 2024 (-$8 vs. March 2024), which is a common movement in the market at the end of spring: meat consumption falls with the arrival of warm weather in Southern Europe. Prices are slightly below last year’s levels, but European demand is not bad and export demand remained strong after Ramadan in Turkey. Orthodox Easter (May 5) is likely to have stimulated the Greek market at the end of April.

 


 

WHAT ARE THE BEEF PRICES IN USA?

US beef production for the year to March was 3.9% lower than the same period last year. The shortage of animals for slaughter leads to high prices, but U.S. cash live cattle prices have declined since the last week of March following reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in dairy herds. No beef cattle have been found to have contracted the virus. As a result, the April average price for fed steers in the five marketing regions (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma) was 1% lower than March, but 4% higher than April 2023. 

 


 

BRAZIL BEEF CATTLE MARKET PRICES

Male beef prices continued to weaken in April, falling 4% in US$ terms from the previous month. The domestic market is slow due to lower consumer purchasing power. In addition, fresher weather has arrived in Brazil, reducing pasture conditions and encouraging ranchers to send more cattle to slaughter. From January to April, Brazilian beef exports jumped 37% from a year earlier, according to Secex. Shipments to China increased by 40% and to Hong Kong by 15%. 


 

BEEF PRICE MARKET OUTLOOK IN CHINA 

Chinese cattle prices fall rapidly in April 2024 (-31% vs. April 2023 and -10% vs. March 2024, in US$). Demand for beef in China is decreasing due to population decline in 2022 and 2023. The steady increase in beef production and imports in recent years has led to a surplus of beef availability in the market, driving down local beef prices. Finally, China has lowered its import taxes in recent years (free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand are currently being negociated), reducing the price of meat imports and putting pressure on domestic production prices. Nevertheless, beef imports were still increasing during the last 2 months of 2024. 

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Make sure to check out our News and Events section for access to all the monthly beef and milk market outlooks.

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