Highlights

India's CY 2017 water buffalo meat (carabeef) and beef production is projected to increase marginally by two percent to 4.4 million tons carcass weight equivalent (CWE) due to population growth and moderate export demand. CY 2017 carabeef exports are projected at 2 million tons CWE on moderate export demand from the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Executive Summary

India's CY 2017 cattle (Bos taurus or Bos indicus) and water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) population is estimated at 303.4 million head. CY 2017 carabeef and beef production is projected to increase marginally by two percent to 4.4 million tons CWE due to population growth and moderate export demand. CY 2017 carabeef exports are projected to increase to 2 million tons CWE on moderate demand from the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. CY 2016 carabeef exports are lowered to 1.95 million tons on slow export pace.

Production

India's cattle and water buffalo population in CY 2017 is estimated at 303.4 million head. CY 2017 carabeef and beef production is forecast to increase marginally by 2.3 percent to 4.4 million tons CWE due to population growth and moderate export demand. CY 2016 carabeef production level estimates are lowered to 4.3 MMT CWE on slow export pace. The cattle and water buffalo population is likely to remain strong over the next decade based on strong growth in the dairy sector. The animals are raised for dairying purpose only and mostly by small and marginal farmers.

Since most Indian states restrict or prohibit cow slaughter due to religious sensitivities, India's carabeef sector mainly depends on unproductive water buffalo and water buffalo bulls from the dairy sector. In 2015, several India states, including Maharashtra and Haryana, enacted stringent cattle slaughter legislation to completely prohibit the cattle slaughter. However, industry sources indicate that these legislations have not had a major impact on the carabeef trade and supply chain. All Indian states except Kerala, West Bengal, and northeastern states prohibit the slaughter of cattle of any age, including for both female and male calves. India's major carabeef producing states include Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab. The state of Uttar Pradesh also has the country's largest water buffalo population. Overall, India's water buffalo population of 108.7 million head in year 2012 has grown at about 1.3 percent per year from year 1997 to 2012. In fact, water buffaloes contribute more than 56 percent of India's total milk production. The water buffaloes are preferred by some farmers due to the price premium for high-fat milk and since spent water buffaloes can be sold for slaughter.

State government disease control programs as well as improved veterinary services and other farm management programs have helped mitigate animal losses and maintain disease-free status for slaughter animals. However, the reoccurrence of foot-and-mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks remain a major challenge for the carabeef sector. In addition to restricting exports to certain countries, FMD causes significant economic losses due to reduced milk yield and meat production. There is also pressure on overall profit margins since raw hide prices in domestic markets have declined substantially due to lesser demand from tanneries in certain leather clusters. Raw hides and skins and wet blue exports are also minimal due to high export taxes.

Consumption

CY 2016 and CY 2017 beef and carabeef consumption estimates are projected at 2.35 and 2.4 million tons CWE on population growth. Due to its affordability, carabeef is the second most consumed animal protein after chicken meat. However, carabeef/beef per capita consumption is comparatively low largely due to limited carabeef/beef consumption amongst the majority of Hindu population, which represents approximately 80 percent of India's population. The carabeef is mainly consumed by the Muslim population and certain sections of the Hindu population. Carabeef consumption is reportedly higher in Kerala, Assam, West Bengal, Goa, and northeastern states. While most Indian consumers prefer fresh over frozen meat products, the lack of cold chain infrastructure also limits the large-scale availability of chilled and frozen meat products.

Processing:

The modern slaughter houses with processing facilities primarily cater to the export market and are regulated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) within the Ministry of Health and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. FSSAI regulates slaughter, meat processing, and imported meat and meat products through the regulation entitled: Food Safety and Standards Rules and Regulation, 2011. APEDA provides guidance to help the industry improve sanitary and hygiene practices for exported meat products. As per APEDA, there are 66 approved Indian establishments that operate as both an abbatoir and meat processing facility and 34 meat processing facilities, all of which are focused on exports. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries also implements various schemes for the establishment or modernization of abattoirs, cold chain operations, and food surveillance.

While still regulated by FSSAI, the domestic carabeef market is mostly in the unorganized sector. Products for the domestic market are largely sourced from the approximately 4,000 slaughterhouses approved by Municipal Corporation (local bodies) and approximately 25,000 unregistered, small scale corner shops. Unlike export-oriented facilities, the local slaughter houses producing meat for the domestic market often lack sufficient infrastructure for the hygienic production of carabeef. In addition, India's carabeef industry does not provide for any grading system for red meat production.

Trade

CY 2017 carabeef exports are projected to increase to 2.0 million tons CWE, up 2.1 percent in comparison to previous year, on moderate export demand from Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Although Indonesia has recently opened its market for Indian carabeef, the industry expects only marginal growth in exports over the previous year. CY 2016 carabeef exports are lowered marginally to 1.95 million tons on slow export pace. The CY 2015 export figure is amended to 1.806 million tons on revised customs data. India's top five carabeef export destinations are Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. In 2015, Vietnam was the largest destination for Indian carabeef, accounting for 44 percent of total Indian exports at 7.91 million MT followed by Malaysia (11 percent), Egypt (8 percent), Saudi Arabia (5.3 percent) and Thailand (4.9 percent). By region, India's largest share of exports is destined to Southeast Asian countries (63 percent in CY 2015) followed by Middle East (24 percent in CY 2015) and Africa. Indian carabeef exports have been affected by the subdued economic environment in Middle East and North African countries as well as volatile export demand from Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam. Major importing countries in the Southeast Asian region include Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. In the Middle East and North Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are the major importers of Indian carabeef. India's exports mainly include frozen, boneless carabeef

Most exported carabeef is sold in wet markets, while a portion is processed into canned meat, sausage, salami, burgers, and other processed food. The state of Uttar Pradesh is the largest exporter of carabeef, followed by Punjab and Maharashtra. From 2005 to 2015, India's carabeef export volumes grew at a compound annual growth rate of 11.3 percent. However, the value of Indian carabeef exports is significantly lower than that of Australia, Brazil, the United States, and other major exporting countries. In addition, India does not have market access to developed country markets such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, and the European Union due to sanitary issues, especially its endemic FMD status. Indian carabeef is therefore exported to different markets and purchased by different consumer segments than beef from other major exporting countries.

Policy

Carabeef Meat Production Programs and Policy

The Ministry of Agriculture's DAHDF helps state governments better control animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, Rinderpest, Peste des Petits, and Brucellosis. In addition, DAHDF also funds efforts to upgrade livestock genetics, improve feed and fodder, and develop processing and marketing infrastructure. DAHDF also monitors livestock disease outbreaks by administering a web-based animal disease reporting system based on submissions from Indian states. DAHDF's programs relating to the bovine sector primarily focus on development of the dairy sector. An area of focus is the National Dairy Plan, which seeks to improve dairy production through breed improvement, artificial insemination, fodder development, and expanding milk procurement systems at the village level.

Trade Policy

Imports: DAHDF regulates all meat product imports through the Livestock Importation Act, 1898. In order to import meat products, the required documentation includes a sanitary import permit issued by DAHDF and a veterinary certificate certified by an exporting country's competent authority. However, India prohibits the export and import of beef since cattle slaughter is banned in most Indian states due to religious sensitivities.

Exports: All exported meat products must be sourced from abattoirs and meat processing plants registered with APEDA. Export shipments are subject to compulsory microbiological and other testing for the issuance of animal health certificate by the certified GOI agency. The GOI has given the following agencies authority to issue health certificates:

All State Directorates of Animal Husbandry

  • Export Inspection Agencies (EIAs)
  • Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI)
  • Deonar abattoir, Mumbai (for chilled sheep and goat meat only)
  • Ghazipur abattoir, Delhi (for carabeef, sheep, and goat meat)
  • Perumbur abattoir, Chennai (for carabeef, sheep, and goat meat)
  • Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics: India: Commodity, Animal Numbers, Cattle, PSD

Animal Numbers,

Cattle

2015

2016

2017

Market Begin Year

Jan 2015

Jan 2016

Jan 2017

India

USDA

New

USDA

New

USDA

Official

Post

Official

Post

Official

New

Total Cattle Beg.

301100

301100

302600

302600

0

Post

Dairy Cows Beg.

125000

125000

127000

127000

0

303350

Beef Cows Beg.

0

0

0

0

0

129000

Production (Calf

67000

67000

68000

68000

0

0

Total Imports

0

0

0

0

0

69000

Total Supply

368100

368100

370600

370600

0

0

Total Exports

0

0

0

0

0

372350

Cow Slaughter

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other Slaughter

37000

37000

38500

38750

0

39500

Total Slaughter

37000

37000

38500

38750

0

39500

Loss

28500

28500

28500

28500

0

28000

Ending Inventories

302600

302600

303600

303350

0

304850

Total Distribution

368100

368100

370600

370600

0

372350

India: Commodity, Meat, Beef and Veal, PSD

Meat, Beef and Veal

2015

2016

2017

Market Begin Year

Jan 2015

Jan 2016

Jan 2017

India

USDA

New

USDA

New

USDA

New

Official

Post

Official

Post

Official

Post

Slaughter (Reference)

37000

37000

3

8500

38500

0

39500

Beginning Stocks

0

0

0

0

0

0

Production

4100

4100

4300

4300

0

4400

Total Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

4100

4100

4300

4300

0

4400

Total Exports

1806

1806

1950

1950

0

2000

Human Dom. Cons.

2294

2294

2350

2350

0

2400

Other Use, Losses

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Dom.

2294

2294

2350

2350

0

2400

Ending Stocks

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Distribution

4100

4100

4300

4300

0

4400