The USDA Agricultural Projection 2021 recently released foresees a promising, optimistic outlook for the meat industry over the coming years. According to the report, world meat demand and imports continue strong growth, especially in many middle- and low-income countries. World meat trade increases 20 percent in the projections, driven primarily by rising per capita incomes and population growth in developing countries. Growth in world meat consumption is projected to increase about 2.2 percent per year and meat shipments from major exporters rise about 1.8 percent per year during 2012-2021.

The projected growth rates of exports from major exporters of beef, pork, and poultry meat are 2.5, 1.2, and 2.1 percent per year, respectively. During this period, exports rise 1.7 million tons for beef, 0.7 million for pork, and 1.9 million for poultry. However, as the projections assume that policies will continue to be used in Russia to stimulate domestic pork and poultry production and to reduce imports, country’s meat imports decline over the coming decade.


In this context:

  • Beef exports from Asia, mostly from India, increased sharply after 2009. Developing countries’ demand for India’s lower priced beef is projected to continue rising rapidly. India’s rising exports account for 40 percent of the increase in world beef trade.
  • Argentine beef exports declined sharply after the 2005 peak, reflecting export restrictions on beef and changes in other. Argentine producers have begun to rebuild their herds and beef exports are expected to stabilize during the next several years and then rise slowly. Exports will be constrained by reduced beef imports by Russia, which has been a major market for Argentine beef.
  • Exports from Brazil’s expanding pork sector are expected to be competitive in price-sensitive markets such as Russia and Asian countries other than Japan and South Korea.
  • During the coming decade, Brazil is expected to continue to be the largest exporter of poultry products as a result of low production costs and competitive export prices. 
  • Canadian beef exports and imports are each projected to rise slowly after 2012, but net exports decline somewhat in the projections. Canada’s cow herd contracted significantly during 2006-10 and the rebuilding of beef herds is expected to progress slowly.
  • EU beef exports are projected to decline slightly in the next 10 years.