Cattle - World Supply and Demand Summary
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India leads the world in cattle production with an average of 44,196 thousand head (TH) produced per year. However, at 11,673 TH slaughtered per year, India ranks only sixth in average annual slaughter. Combine this with the facts that India exports only 21 TH and imports only 18 TH, we see that most of the cattle production in India is not for beef, but rather for dairy.
China is the second larges cattle-producing nation in the world. China's average annual production of cattle is 40,410 TH, placing them roughly 4,000 TH behind India in production. China has an average cattle import of only 1 TH, while exporting 79 TH. Average cattle slaughter in China is 34,718 TH, making them more of a meat-eating nation than India, but still a nation where a great number of the cattle produced go to dairy and other non-beef related industries.
The U.S., during the course of an average year, will have a calf crop of 39,086 TH. The U.S. is also the world's largest cattle importer, importing an average of 2,145 TH per year. In the United States, average exports are 294 TH per year, making the U.S. the world's seventh largest beef exporter. Unlike China and India, the United States uses a majority of its cattle for beef animals. In fact, the U.S. is the world leader in cattle slaughter, averaging a yearly kill of 37,447 TH.
The nation of Brazil has a calf crop, on average, of 35,969 TH. This places them as the world's fourth largest cattle producer. Brazil also imports an average of 169 TH, ranking them fourth in world imports. Brazil exports no animals. The average slaughter, per year, in Brazil is 30,124 TH.
The calf crop in Argentina averages 13,957 TH, making them the world's fifth largest cattle producer. Argentina also imports an average of 37 TH, while at the same time they export 116 TH. Argentina has the fourth largest cattle slaughter in the world, averaging a yearly kill of 12,986 TH.
Russia will, during the course of an average year, produce a calf crop of 11,569 TH. Imports in Russia are 28 TH and exports are 14 TH. The average yearly slaughter in Russia is 12,707 TH.
Australia, the world's seventh largest cattle producer, has an average calf crop of 9,859 TH. Average slaughter in Australia is 8,644 TH. Since production exceeds slaughter and Australia produces most of their cattle for slaughter, not dairy, there is no need for them to import any cattle. Instead, they are the world's fourth largest cattle exporter, exporting 784 TH.
In the course of an average year Mexico produces 8,464 TH, imports 167 TH, exports 986 TH, and slaughters 8,226 TH. We can see that production and slaughter are relatively close, but due to differences in cattle raised and cattle desired for slaughter, Mexico is forced to pursue an export and import program. Furthermore, being a member of the NAFTA, Mexico's beef can be exported to the U.S. and Canada, where prices are typically higher.
France has an average calf crop of 7,177 TH. France also has an average slaughter of 5,706 TH. However, due to quality differences between beef animals for slaughter and diary animals for production, France is still a factor in the trade arena. In fact, France exports 1,544 TH of cattle yearly, making them the largest exporter of any country in the world. France's average yearly imports are 262 TH, making them the second largest importer in the world, right behind the U.S.
The Ukraine produces 5,737 TH of cattle in an average year. They also import 2 TH, export 59 TH, and slaughter 6,638 TH.
Information provided courtesy of the USDA Economic and Statistics System.