WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2017 - A new Rabobank report says the U.S. beef sector is poised to export more beef than it imports by the end of the year. Rabobank analysts Don Close and Sterling Liddell say in the report that U.S. beef production outpacing consumption, “the emergence of a new generation of middle-class consumers globally,” and “short-term production setbacks in other exporting countries” are all positive signs for the beef industry. On top of that, the U.S. cattle herd will continue to grow, they say, to the tune of 1.6 percent to 2.2 percent “over the next two or three years,” which will position “total U.S. beef production to grow to the highest level since 2003.” During this time, they estimate a 4 to 5 percent increase in per capita beef consumption driven by decreased retail prices. As a result of market forces, Close and Liddell also say beef packers “will enjoy the largest balance of market power” due to an increase in demand for existing slaughter capacity.