The world market is instead developing a new segmentation according to consumer and processor preferences for grain-fed or grass-fed beef. Strong demand for grain-fed beef, particularly in Japan and Korea, should favour higher exports from the United States and Canada.
This is also encouraging traditional grass-fed producers in places like Australia and Argentina to farm grain-fed herds. Beef prices are expected to strengthen in the Pacific market up to 2004, but to weaken in subsequent years as production and exports increase. The outlook for the EU beef sector remains extremely uncertain because of the continuing impact of the BSE (mad cow) crisis. Trends in beef markets could change if Latin American countries increase their access to Asia-Pacific markets more rapidly than expected. This would increase competition for Australia’s exports of grass-fed beef to the region; both exporters already produce the same type of meat at fairly similar prices. Argentina has been exporting beef to Chinese Taipei since 1999 and had a market share of an estimated 8% in 2000.
• OECD Agricultural Outlook 2001-2006
©OECD Observer No 230, January 2002