The US department of agriculture (USDA) is forecasting a rise in global beef production of 1% in 2019, taking the projected total to 63.6 million tonnes.

In a report called Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade, which it published in mid-October, USDA said increases in production in Brazil, the US and Argentina would compensate for a decline in Australia. It said: “Australia’s persistent hot and dry weather conditions have led to deteriorating pasture conditions, high grain prices and low water supplies, forcing more cattle into feedlots.” It went on to say it expects herd-rebuilding to be a priority in Australia in 2019, with fewer animals available for slaughter.

In the US, in contrast, the report said beef production is forecast to grow by 4% to reach a record 12.7 million tonnes, “reflecting recent calf crop increases”.