Strong US Beef Prices, Attractive to Mexican Beef ProducersThu, 26 Jun 2014 13:03:25 CDT
Nobody in the United States knows more about the Mexican beef and cattle marketplace than Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel. For many years he has done work in Mexico and he recently returned from Mexico. He continues to see the US - Mexico trade relationship in beef and cattle market continuing to evolve with a more integrated market. For the last 20 plus years Mexico has been a major export destination for US beef. After declining for the past five years since 2008, Peel says last year we have saw the first annual increase in beef exports and that is continuing this year.
"The latest development in the last three or four years is that Mexico has dramatically increased their infrastructure for feedlot and for box beef production in particular and that gives them more value opportunities not only in their domestic market but also in the export market," Peel said. "So the US and other countries have started receiving significant quantities of Mexican beef."
Mexico is an a similar situation as the US with declining cowherd numbers. Mexico is extremely tight on cattle numbers as they have culled down their numbers and he thinks that is why they are importing more US beef.
"Our imports of Mexican beef have tapered off a bit or slowed to a no growth situation," Peel said. "I think that is a function of a limited capability for beef production in Mexico right now."
For the rest of the year, Peel anticipates there will be some growth in US exports of beef to Mexico and little to no growth in US imports of Mexican US beef.
"So far this year the number of cattle coming from Mexico is about equal to last year," Peel said. "Last year was down about a third from the year before that, I don't believe the animal numbers are sufficient to maintain even last year's pace as we go forward."
Record high prices in the US is a strong attraction for any cattle that can be potentially exported to the US market and that's what we're seeing right now, but I don't really expect that to continue for the whole year. I think these numbers will taper off as we move into the second half of the year.
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