DROUGHT has decimated Mexico's cattle stocks, wiping 150,000 from producers' herds.
Commentators are rating the drought as the worst in 70 years. The country's Ministry for Agriculture estimates 60,000 cattle have died, while another 89,000 have been culled by producers.
Mexican Cattle Growers Association president Alvaro Ley said it would take three years to restore herd sizes.
"Those cows that were lost are not going to produce calves, and the period those calves need to grow is about three years," he said. The hardest-hit regions are those where many producers have 20 cows or fewer.
Meanwhile, a drought in Argentina has had a big impact on that country's major meat processor, with JBS South American earnings falling 10 per cent from a year earlier.
There are reports JBS Mercosul division, which covers Brazil and Argentina, is considering leaving Argentina due to tough business conditions.
Government restrictions on exports, staff pay rises and a drop in slaughter because of herd rebuilding have made trading conditions tough.