Gradual growth expected for India's cattle herds - GAIN

Calf crop expect =ed to grow as well
calendar icon 25 March 2024
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The USDA Foreign Agriculture Service post New Delhi expects marginal growth in India’s national cattle herds in 2024, according to a recent US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report.

India's cattle herds are comprised of both bovine dairy cattle (Bos taurus and Bos indicus) and the Asian domestic water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). Herds size is expected to rise from 307.42 million head to 307.4 million head in 2023. Gradual herd growth is expected to continue in the short- to medium-term.

India’s calf crop in 2024, is expected to roll in at over 70.5 million head, up from 70.2 million head in 2023. Measured growth in calf crop numbers is attributed to bettering animal health, improved nutrition, and a growing emphasis on increasing exports of carabeef (i.e., beef derived from the domestic water buffalo). With the waning of lumpy skin disease in 2023, India’s cattle herd numbers are expected to continue to grow.

With herd numbers increasing, India’s carabeef production supply is expanding to meet increasing domestic and international market demand. India’s MY 2024 carabeef production is estimated at 4.61 million metric tons (MMT) on a carcass-weight-equivalent (CWE) basis, up from 4.47 MMT in 2023.3 Pricing, both domestically and internationally, compared to that of the other red meats is a key demand-defining variable for expanded Indian carabeef production.

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