Cattle ban could stop beef exports

Cattle ban could stop beef exports

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s has banned the sale and purchase of cattle from livestock markets, making it harder for the meat industry to continue to be a big player on the export stage. A majority of Indian beef comes from its massive water buffalo flock rather than cows, which are considered sacred by the Hindu community that makes up 80% of the population in India.

Now many cattle traders have come under repeated attacks from activists fiercely opposed to the beef industry. And with the Indian government taking a firm stance on cattle trade. India is the second-largest volume-based global beef exporter, behind Brazil and slightly ahead of Australia. Should the giant exit the global export market, it would mean that the nations consuming Indian beef would have to source product from elsewhere, shaking up global trade routes.

Vietnam and China are the largest buyers of Indian beef exports. Indian beef exports account for 20% of the beef on the international market, so an Indian export exit would create a significant drop in supply.

Brazil would be the most likely nation to plug the gap left by India, but the recent tainted meat scandal may have soured the appetites of some nations for beef from Brazil. This could be an opportunity for beef suppliers in Uruguay or Argentina, as well as for live Australian exports from the country’s northern territory.