Kay’s Cuts: High quality transcends inflation


Steve Kay, Commentary, Beef Central (Australia)



A monthly column written for Beef Central by US meat and livestock industry commentator, Steve Kay, publisher of US Cattle Buyers Weekly


CONSUMERS all over the world continue to face food costs that keep getting higher. But like other luxury items such as jewelry and brand-name leather bags, it seems that high quality beef sales in most countries have remained little impacted by inflation*.


That is good news for both the US and Australian beef industries. The US continues to take advantage of the fact that it is by far the largest producer of top-quality grainfed beef in the world.


Meanwhile, Australia in recent years has steadily increased the amount of grain-fed beef it produces to 50pc or more of total production (link).


As I wrote in my February column for Beef Central, US beef exports in 2021 surpassed US$10 billion in value for the first time. This meant they almost doubled in value in ten years.


Volume also set a new record at 1.44 million tonnes. This was up 15 percent from 2020. Value though, was up 38pc, proving that consumers all around the world were prepared to pay more for some of the best beef in the world.


Despite continuing food inflation, the US beef export juggernaut has continued. April exports topped US$1 billion for the third month this year. Beef exports totaled 124,408 mt in April, up 3pc from a year ago and the fifth largest on record, while export value soared 33pc to US$1.05b, second only to the record $1.07b posted in March.


For January through April, US beef exports increased 5pc from a year ago to 478,260 mt and were valued at US$4.05b (up 38pc), more proof of consumers paying more.


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