Corn Crop Heading for Record to Feed 1 Billion Cows
Comment of the Day

December 22 2011

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Corn Crop Heading for Record to Feed 1 Billion Cows

This article by Tony C. Dreibus, Jeff Wilson and Rudy Ruitenberg for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:
There were 1.38 billion cattle in 2009, compared with 1.31 billion a decade earlier, the FAO estimates. The global pig population has expanded to 942 million from 894 million in 1999 while farmers added almost 5 billion chickens to 18.6 billion, the data show. Grazing cattle, which primarily feed on pasture, account for about a quarter of world beef production, according to the FAO.

World beef production will reach 56.8 million tons next year, 2.8 percent less than in 2007, according to the USDA. Pork will rise 10 percent to 103.4 million tons since 2007 as poultry advances 17 percent to 88.4 million tons. Farmers will use a record 640.6 million tons of corn and wheat feed this season, 5.6 percent more than a year earlier, the USDA estimates.

Eoin Treacy's view The upward trajectory of beef consumption is at least partly driven by demand growth in the world's major population centres. The, as yet, slow supply response has been influenced by historically high feed prices which has made cattle rearing a less than attractive occupation until relatively recently.

Feeder Cattle broke out of a six-year range late last year and continues to extend its advance. Prices have found support in the region of the 200-day MA on successive occasions for more than a year and a sustained move below $140 would now be required to question medium-term scope for further upside.

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