Global Hotspots: Brazil wheat imports, Australia's cattle herd to shrink

Global Hotspots: Brazil wheat imports, Australia's cattle herd to shrink

Dry weather, exports to shrink Australia's 2016 cattle herd; Canada's cattle herd to expand

1. Brazil to import less wheat in 2015 –Reuters

Brazil's wheat imports are projected to drop 13.5 percent this year to around 5 million metric tons, in response to lower domestic use and higher Brazilian production, wheat industry group Abitrigo said this week in a Reuters story.

Brazil, one of the world's largest wheat importers, bought 5.78 million tonnes in 2014, according to Abitrigo, mostly from Argentina.

Cumulative imports this year up to August were 3.3 million tonnes, 20 percent below volumes seen in the same period last year. Argentina accounted for 2.7 million tonnes of that, followed by the United States with 300,000 tonnes.

Global Hotspots: Brazil wheat imports, Australia's cattle herd to shrink

Abitrigo's president Sergio Amaral said the recent slide of the Brazilian real against the dollar should add to factors affecting wheat imports this year and help reduce volumes, since imports become more expensive for local mills.

Amaral said Brazil's overall wheat consumption, including local production, should fall around 3 percent this year as the industry suffers amid the country's worst recession in 25 years.

2. Dry weather, exports to shrink Australia's 2016 cattle herd

Australia's cattle herd is forecast at two-decade low of 26.3 million head in 2016, down 5% from 2015, because of strong live-cattle exports, high slaughter levels, and drought.

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A lack of rain in 2015 and the prospect that will continue into 2016 could hurt pastures and cause an increase cattle slaughter, which would further shrink the herd, USDA's attache said.

That may mean fewer in beef exports in 2016, much of which go to the United States.  

3. Canada's cattle herd to expand

While Australia's cattle herd is shrinking, Canada's is expanding and could be up 2% in 2016, USDA's  attache said.

Drought early in 2015 delayed the anticipated herd expansion, but now high cattle prices have pushed producers to retain heifers for the breeding herds.

The increase will be slow, with the 2016 herd forecast at 11.93 million head, up from 2015's 11.92 million. Canadian beef competes with U.S. beef in world export markets.

TAGS: USDA
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