CME: Shrinking US Beef Cow Herd of Concern


US - The shrinking US beef cow herd and resulting reductions in the annual calf crop are an item of concern to most industry analysts and participants, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

Fewer cows simply mean fewer people involved in the industry and that means fewer thinkers, fewer ideas, less political clout and a host of other bad things. But it doesn?t drive a commensurate reduction in beef output. They haven?t even had a huge negative impact on cattle slaughter. Those statements seem to be at odds, so what is going on?

First, as can be seen in the following chart, US cattle slaughter has stayed in a range of 32.7 to 33.9 million head for the past 6 years. At its current year-to-date change of ?4.3 per cent, it will break out of that range to the bottom side this year. If the YTD rate continues through December, annual slaughter will be just over 32.1 million, the lowest level since 2005 and the lowest non-BSE-influenced level since 1992.

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United Arab Emirates Reopens Door to Canadian Beef

After nine years of a closed border to Canadian beef, the United Arab Emirates is now fully open to Canadian beef imports from cattle over 30 months of age. A joint announcement was made today by Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast.

The UAE is one of nearly 70 countries in the world that has reopened their borders to allow the importing of Canadian beef after BSE (Mad Cow Disease) was detected in Canada in 2003. The UAE is Canada?s 19th largest beef export market and Canadian beef producers will benefit from full-market access to middle-east nation.

"The UAE is the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council region to resume full access to our high-quality beef and this is a significant milestone for Canadian beef producers", said Minister Ritz. "We are hopeful that the UAE's decision will encourage other countries in this region to grant full access to Canadian beef."

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