Beef Cattle Production in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld has Been Updated

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While Americans are reducing red meat consumption and shifting to alternative sources of protein, such as poultry and eggs, industry demand will remain steady as beef will continue to be a staple product for households in the next five years; although high feed costs have significantly cut into industry profit, these costs will decrease through 2018, aiding margins. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Beef Cattle Production industry in its growing industry report collection.

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The industry will have modest long-term growth despite challenges, as beef remains a US staple

Declining consumption of beef due to health concerns has harmed the US Beef Cattle Production industry in recent years. This trend has been further exacerbated by the recession. Consequently, revenue and profit declined in 2008 and 2009. “However, the skyrocketing prices of red meat and livestock feed, driven by rising oil prices, on top of the depreciating US dollar and growing foreign demand for US beef drove the revenue and profit for three consecutive years,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Agiimaa Kruchkin. “As a result, IBISWorld expects revenue to grow at an annualized rate of 4.1% in the five years to 2013.” The US Department of Agriculture has reported a corn price hike of 60.0% in 2012, which is detrimental to the industry as corn makes up the majority of beef cattle feed. These striking price changes have been brought on by recent drought conditions that are threatening agricultural industries worldwide. Therefore, the 2010 and 2011's robust revenue growth will be replaced with a 4.2% decline in 2013, with revenue totaling an estimated $64.1 billion.

Despite strong growth in 2010 and 2011, the industry has reached the mature stage of its life cycle. American diets have shifted toward what consumers perceive as healthier white meats, such as poultry and fish. Consequently, chicken replaced beef as the most-consumed meat in the United States. Red meat's relatively higher prices further discourage consumption of beef, in turn hurting the demand from meat, beef and poultry processors. “As industry input costs hit the roof in 2012 due to the worst drought in a quarter of a century, revenue and profit growth are expected to recede from the 2011 peak,” says Kruchkin. “Nevertheless, expanding export markets for US beef products, together with beef remaining a staple food in American diets will prevent the industry from recessionary drops.”

The Beef Cattle Production industry comprises a mixture of concentrated and widely dispersed activities. Typical of many agricultural pursuits, many small operators characterize US cattle ranching. Older producers operate a large portion of these farms, but competitive pressures are forcing smaller farms to close as the industry moves toward specialist large-scale operations that typically incur lower per head costs through economies of scale. Most enterprises are small, family-owned farms operating on an exclusively regional basis; the largest farms and feedlots in the industry include JR Simplot Company, JBS Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding LLC, and Cactus Feeders Inc.

During the next five years, beef cattle production revenue is forecast to grow modestly; this slow growth will primarily result from a marginal decline in the US beef consumption. The exposure of the industry to external volatility, such as weather conditions, market prices and disease outbreak, will remain unchanged; consequently, profit margins may vary accordingly from year to year. Despite the uncertainties, Americans have no beef with consuming red meat, so steaks and hamburgers are here to stay. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Beef Cattle Production in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry includes farms and ranches that primarily engage in raising cattle (including cattle for dairy herd replacements), or feeding cattle for fattening to prepare them for consumption. The industry also comprises cattle feedlot operations, which produce high-quality beef.
Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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