Subscribe to the Angus Beef Bulletin

Subscribe to the
newly redesigned
Angus Beef Bulletin

by clicking the
image above.

Sign up!

Quick links:

Share the EXTRA

Connect with
our community:

Follow us on twitterJoin us on Twitter

Bookmark and Share

Graphic coming soon.

Beef Exports Helping Cattle Markets

The top six U.S. beef-importing countries account for 86% of total beef exports.

U.S. beef exports for the first three months of the year are up 12.2% with March up 11.4%. So far in 2018, the United States has exported beef to 100 different countries. However, 85 of those countries account for only 5.9% of year-to-date beef exports. The top 15 beef export markets represent 94.1% of exports, with the top six markets accounting for 86.5% of total beef exports.

The No. 7 to No. 15 export markets account for 7.6% of beef exports. Most of these are small markets with limited potential to be significantly bigger markets for U.S. beef. These markets include such countries as Chile, Philippines, Netherlands, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and United Arab Emirates. Vietnam, currently No. 10, has been as high as the sixth-largest export market; however, most of that is believed to be transshipments into China.

Among those top 15 markets is mainland China. China is currently the No. 12 beef export market for the United States and has accounted for less than 1% of total beef exports since exports to China resumed in June 2017. Despite the slow pace of exports to China thus far, there is tremendous potential for China to be a very significant beef export market for the United States. Despite relatively low per capita beef consumption, China is the second-largest beef-consuming nation in the world, behind the United States.

Historically, China has been isolated from global beef markets with consumption matching domestic production. However, in the past six years, Chinese beef consumption has sharply outpaced domestic production, and Chinese beef imports have grown rapidly. By 2016, China was the second-largest beef-importing country, behind the United States. Current projections by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service place Chinese beef imports still second to the United States, but jumping from 72% of U.S. import levels in 2017 to 87% of U.S. beef imports in 2018. The implication is that China could well be the largest beef-importing country in the world in the next year or two. The United States clearly wants to increase market share in this rapidly growing market.

Among the top six beef export markets, Japan remains No. 1, with January to March imports of U.S. beef fractionally lower year over year. No. 2 South Korea continues to be a very strong market and is up 28.8% for the year to date. No. 3 Mexico is up modestly by 3.1% compared to last year. Hong Kong is the fourth largest with beef exports up 33.7% year over year. Beef exports to No. 5 Canada are down 9.6% compared to last year. Taiwan is the No. 6 beef export market and is up 36.7% year over year.

Beef exports continue to support cattle and beef markets with six strong major markets, plus a number of smaller markets including lots of potential for China to be a much bigger market for U.S. beef with time.

comment on this story

Editor’s Note: Derrell Peel is an Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist.







Use this keyword search to find more articles like this one:

[Click here to go to the top of the page.]