Absa AgriTrends 2022

Beef Market Dynamics

Beef Market Dynamics

Despite increased pressures on consumers, which include higher interest rates and fuel costs, beef carcass prices have been holding firm since the start of 2022 (see Figure 3.1). This was primarily driven by low slaughter numbers (see Figure 3.2), with beef slaughterings in July 2022 6.3% below the long-term average for July and a 2.8% decrease year on year. Lower slaughter numbers were, in turn, the effect of multiple factors. The first is high input and feed costs underpinned by high grain prices. Strong revenue streams from grains and oilseeds also

resulted in producers with grain and livestock enterprises to rebuilt their herds more aggressively and this decreased the availability of marketed animals. The third factor relates to the ongoing Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks. During October 2022, South Africa had 171 open cases affecting Kwazulu Natal, North West, Free State, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng. The rapid spread of increased production risk combined with the current high production costs is limiting the throughput of animals through the chain.


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