Selected Results Of The IFCN Beef Network
The global players in beef production are North America, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and the EU-25. In value-terms, the main exporters are North America, Australia, Brazil and Argentina. Main importers are again North America, Japan and the Far East. Within the framework of the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN), and using harmonised methods for analysis, a total of 29 typical beef finishing farms in 15 important beef producing countries were analysed. The farms show significant differences in production systems and productivity levels. The highest cost of beef production is found in the EU-countries (US$ 350–500 per 100 kg carcass weight), the lowest in Argentina, Uruguay and Pakistan (US$ 100–130). In the case of trade liberalisation, farms with low costs of production have an incentive to export to markets with higher price levels. A benchmarking example is given for Brazilian, German and Argentinian farms revealing the specific strengths and weaknesses of the typical farms. Further, the time series analysis of identical farms illustrates the necessity of regular cost and price comparisons. The future potential of beef production depends on availability of land, possibilities for intensifying production and the competition with other land uses. Whether an increase in production leads to a net trade surplus depends mainly on the development of the demand for beef.
Keywords: Beef production, international competitiveness, International Farm Comparison Network.