Status quo and prospects of beef production world-wide Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this paper is to provide an idea about the market shares of important beef producers, to analyse the competitive situation of beef production on the farm-level and to assess the potential of beef production in a worldwide context. The global players in beef production are North America, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and the EU-25. In value-terms, the main exporters are North America, Australia, Brazil and Argentina. Main importers are again North America, Japan and the Far East. Within the framework of the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN), and using harmonised methods for analysis, a total of 29 typical beef finishing farms in 15 important beef producing countries were analysed. The farms show significant differences in production systems and productivity levels. The highest cost of beef production is found in the EU-countries (US$ 350-500 per 100 kg carcass weight), the lowest in Argentina, Uruguay and Pakistan (US$ 100-130). In the case of trade liberalisation, farms with low cost of production have an incentive to export to markets with higher price levels. The potential to increase production depends on numerous factors, amongst them the availability of additional land, the possibilities to intensify production and the competition with other land uses. The development of beef production in the EU is mainly determined by the impact of the latest CAP-reform. In many countries (like Brazil, the U.S., Canada and Australia) the main potential lays in intensification rather than making additional land resources available for beef production. In the next ten years, a world-wide increase of beef production as well as world trade can be expected. In some countries the increases of production are likely to be at least partially offset by consumption in the short term (China) or over the long term (Brazil).

published proceedings

  • Landbauforschung Volkenrode

author list (cited authors)

  • Deblitz, C., Borbely, C., Charry, A. A., Costa, F. P., Von Davier, Z., Fernandez, E., ... Wilczynski, A.

complete list of authors

  • Deblitz, C||Borbely, C||Charry, AA||Costa, FP||Von Davier, Z||Fernandez, E||Grabner, R||Hashmi, AH||Izquierdo, L||Jakobe, P||Klapka, J||Mahmood, K||Ostrowski, B||Parton, K||Pereira, M||Ras, CH||Reyes, E||Richardson, JW||Sarzeaud, P||Switlyk, M||Szabo, K||Thorne, F||Wilczynski, A

publication date

  • December 2004