The beef markets in Thailand have been classified according to the prices and qualities of the beef. Three classes have been recognized:
- Beef of high quality sold in supermarkets and HRI has been produced in the fattening feedlot, where crossbred cattle are fed for 8-10 months of high grain and low fiber rations to reach final weights between 550 and 600 kg. The beef is tender and has a considerable amount of marbling. The chilling of the half carcasses hanging in a cold room for 1-2 weeks has been practiced by some companies. The market share for this high quality beef has been only 1%;
- Medium quality beef is produced from the Brahman crossbred bulls of different ages ‘fattened’ for 3 to 4 months in order to increase body muscle and fat. The market share for this medium quality beef class is 49% and carcasses are traded in local fresh markets, supermarkets and HRI;
- Generic beef is sold in wet markets for mostly home consumption. Beeef is from native cattle, low Brahman crossbred bulls, culled and old cattle those are scavenging and grazing on communal land without supplementation. The market share for this sector is 50%.
Figure 5 shows that beef consumption has reduced slightly from 3.54 kg per capita per year in 2000 to 2.59 kg per capita per year in 2013. Pork consumption is the highest while beef consumption is the lowest.