Asia's Beef Market 2020 - Positive Outlook for China, Negative Expectations for India - Global Trade Magazine
  August 9th, 2020 | Written by

Asia’s Beef Market 2020 – Positive Outlook for China, Negative Expectations for India

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  • The beef import price in Asia stood at $5,039 per tonne in 2019, rising by 6.9%.
  • In value terms, beef imports contracted to $19.9B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019.
  • India dominates beef trade, accounting for 1.1M tonnes, which was near 85% of total Asian exports in 2019.

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Asia – Beef (Cattle Meat) – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to negatively impact the Asian beef market, holding back production and international trade. However, it can be predicted that the strength of the impact will depend on how quickly countries return to normalcy. In China, which was the first to recover from the pandemic, positive dynamics are expected in the second half of the year. In contrast, India, the second-largest beef producer after China, will face significant losses in production and exports.

The expected increase in China’s beef production is driven by rising cattle herds, particularly on large farms, and strong domestic demand to offset the ongoing pork shortage. In addition, China will continue to increase its imports, fueled by new accreditations granted to meatpacking plants in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, as well as new trade agreements with these countries.

In India, cattle production may be reduced due to a pandemic shutdown, especially since collection of animals is usually carried out in the form of home visits. Given that most of the production is destined for foreign markets, slowing economic growth in many countries could further undermine the Indian cattle sector.

Import growth is likely to slow in almost all other Asian markets, as widespread recession restricts consumption in middle- and low-income households, while restrictions and physical distancing reduce restaurant turnover, dampening demand for high-quality meat products.

Beef Consumption by Country in Asia

China (7.5M tonnes) continues to be the largest cattle meat market in Asia, accounting for 35% of the total volume. Moreover, beef consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest consumer, Pakistan (1.9M tonnes), fourfold. India (1.5M tonnes) ranked third in terms of total consumption with a 7.1% share.

From 2009 to 2019, the average annual growth rate of beef consumption in Сhina was +1.5%. Pakistan enjoys the highest growth (+3.2% per year), while India suffers from decreasing demand (-2.8% per year).

In value terms, China ($93.3B) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Turkey ($7.5B). It was followed by Pakistan.

The countries with the highest levels of beef per capita consumption in 2019 were Uzbekistan (29 kg per person), Kazakhstan (27 kg per person), and South Korea (14 kg per person).

From 2009 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Turkey, while beef per capita consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Production in Asia

In 2019, Asia’s production of cattle meat expanded modestly to 19M tonnes, with an increase of 2% on the previous year’s figure. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.7% from 2009 to 2019; the trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2010 when the production volume increased by 3.8% y-o-y. Over the period under review, production reached the peak volume in 2019 and is likely to continue growing in the immediate term. The generally positive trend in terms output was largely conditioned by a mild increase in the number of producing animals and a relatively flat trend pattern in yield figures.

Production by Country in Asia

China (6.5M tonnes) is the largest cattle meat producer in the region, accounting for 34% of the total output. Moreover, beef production in China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest producer, India (2.6M tonnes), twofold. Pakistan (2M tonnes) ranked third in terms of total production with an 11% share.

In China, beef production was relatively stable over the past decade. The remaining producing countries recorded the following average annual rates of production growth: India (+0.6% per year) and Pakistan (+3.4% per year).

Producing Animals in Asia

In 2019, the number of animals slaughtered for beef production in Asia reached 116M heads, standing approx. at 2018. This number increased at an average annual rate of +1.1% from 2009 to 2019. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2010 when the number of producing animals increased by 2.9% year-to-year. Over the period under review, this number hit record highs in 2019 and is expected to retain growth in the near future.

Exports in Asia

In 2019, the amount of cattle meat exported in Asia totaled 1.3M tonnes, approximately equating 2018. In general, exports continue to indicate a prominent expansion. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 when exports increased by 67% against the previous year. Over the period under review, exports hit record highs at 1.7M tonnes in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2019, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, beef exports declined to $4.1B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019.

Exports by Country

India dominates beef trade, accounting for 1.1M tonnes, which was near 85% of total Asian exports in 2019. Hong Kong (84K tonnes) held a 6.6% share (based on tonnes) of total exports, which put it in second place, followed by Pakistan (4.5%).

From 2009 to 2019, the average annual rates of growth with regard to beef exports from India stood at +9.5%. At the same time, Pakistan (+9.8%) and Hong Kong  (+8.1%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Pakistan emerged as the fastest-growing exporter exported in Asia, with a CAGR of +9.8% from 2009-2019. While the share of India (+51 p.p.), Hong Kong  (+3.6 p.p.) and Pakistan (+2.8 p.p.) increased significantly, the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, India ($3.1B) remains the largest beef supplier in Asia, comprising 77% of total exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Hong Kong  ($289M), with a 7.1% share of total exports.

In India, beef exports expanded at an average annual rate of +12.0% over the period from 2009-2019. The remaining exporting countries recorded the following average annual rates of export growth: Hong Kong  (+10.9% per year) and Pakistan (+15.2% per year).

Export Prices by Country

The beef export price in Asia stood at $3,158 per tonne in 2019, falling by -4.5% against the previous year. Over the period from 2009 to 2019, it increased at an average annual rate of +2.6%. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 when the export price increased by 21% year-to-year. The level of export peaked at $3,306 per tonne in 2018 and then shrank in the following year.

Average prices varied somewhat amongst the major exporting countries. In 2019, the country with the highest price was Pakistan ($3,815 per tonne), while India ($2,831 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2009 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Pakistan, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in Asia

In 2019, purchases abroad of cattle meat decreased by -12.7% to 3.9M tonnes for the first time since 2008, thus ending a ten-year rising trend.

In value terms, beef imports contracted to $19.9B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019. In general, imports, however, enjoyed prominent growth. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2010 when imports increased by 22% y-o-y. Over the period under review, imports attained the maximum at $21.3B in 2018 and then shrank in the following year.

Imports by Country

In 2019, China (1.1M tonnes), distantly followed by Japan (617K tonnes), South Korea (444K tonnes), and Hong Kong  (365K tonnes) were the major importers of cattle meat, together committing 63% of total imports. The following importers – Malaysia (147K tonnes), Indonesia (141K tonnes), Taiwan (137K tonnes), the United Arab Emirates (133K tonnes), the Philippines (125K tonnes), Iran (119K tonnes), Israel (114K tonnes) and Saudi Arabia (86K tonnes) – together made up 25% of total imports.

From 2009 to 2019, the biggest increases were in China, while purchases for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest beef importing markets in Asia were China ($5B), Japan ($3.5B), and South Korea ($2.9B), with a combined 57% share of total imports.

Import Prices by Country

The beef import price in Asia stood at $5,039 per tonne in 2019, rising by 6.9% against the previous year.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Taiwan ($7,898 per tonne), while Malaysia ($3,172 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2009 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by South Korea, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform