Companies in this industry are ranches and farms that raise cattle, including those intended for dairy herd replacements, and feedlots that fatten cattle in preparation for slaughter. Major companies include Cactus Feeders, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, King Ranch, and Simplot (all based in the US), as well as ANZCO Foods (New Zealand), JBS (Brazil), and SuKarne (Mexico).
The global cattle herd totals about 1 billion head, including about 95 million raised in the US, according to Statista and USDA. India, Brazil, the US, China, and the EU are the world's top cattle and beef producers. Rising global demand for meat will fuel growth in the cattle ranching industry.
The US cattle ranching industry includes about 900,000 operators with combined annual revenue of about $80 billion.
The industry doesn't include slaughter, processing, or packing operations. Meat processing is covered in the Meat Product Manufacturing profile.
Demand is driven by food prices, population growth, and global trade policies. The profitability of individual operations depends on production efficiency and anticipating market demand. Large operators have some advantages in volume purchasing and efficient use of labor and equipment. Small operators can compete successfully by producing special grades of beef cattle and by controlling costs carefully. The industry is concentrated: the top 6% of farms generate about 75% of revenue.
US trade in live cattle takes place primarily with Canada and Mexico. Top countries in import, as well as export include China, Mexico, and Canada.
US cattle prices are influenced by not only by domestic demand for beef products but also by demand from beef export markets. Concern over diseases such as BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease) can abruptly restrict exports and thus reduce demand from meat products manufacturers.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major services include raising live cattle and "finishing" cattle on feedlots in preparation for slaughter.
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms