Beef and Cattle

In 2020, the value of U.S. beef & beef product exports contracted 5.5 percent year-over-year, largely due to supply chain constraints and foodservice struggles in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan at $1.9 billion, South Korea at $1.7 billion, and Mexico at $853 million accounted for 59 percent of total U.S. sales. Mexico’s beef imports from the United States decreased due to its economic slowdown and an unfavorable exchange rate relative to the U.S. dollar. U.S. exports to Japan, the No. 1 market, remained flat from the previous year. The effects of additional exports to Japan early in 2020 were negated by a drastic decline in the second quarter after COVID-19 became more widespread. Exports of U.S. beef to China increased due to China’s removal of market access barriers pursuant to the Phase One Agreement and strong meat demand in China due to reduced domestic pork supplies. Overall, exports accounted for 11 percent of U.S. domestic production. The United States was the world’s largest beef producer, second-largest importer, and third-largest exporter by volume.

More information from the 2020 U.S. Agricultural Export Yearbook

USDA's latest official data on U.S. and global trade, production, consumption and stocks, as well as analysis of developments affecting world trade in livestock, can be found in the Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report.

Data and Analysis

International Agricultural Trade Report

Opportunities for U.S. Consumer-Oriented Products in Chile

Chile remains the largest South American consumer-oriented market for U.S. exporters. Increasing wealth, lower barriers to entry, and the modern Chilean economy present opportunities for increased agricultural trade as COVID-19 restrictions and social-political tensions ease. This economic recovery has also attracted increased competition, especially from the European Union, Brazil, and Argentina; but premium U.S. products including beer, distilled spirits, pork and pork products, cheese, and specialty beef cuts hold potential for Chilean growth in the retail sector as well as the hotel, restaurant, and institutional sector.
Data Product

2021 Agricultural Export Yearbook

The 2021 U.S. Agricultural Export Yearbook provides a statistical summary of U.S. agricultural commodity exports to the world.
This report outlines updated plant and label registration guidance for U.S. meat and meat product exporters to Brazil. The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Office of Agricultural Affairs (OAA) Brasília will continue to provide assistance for U.S...

News and Features

The new three-trigger safeguard mechanism will allow U.S. exporters to meet Japan’s growing demand for high-quality beef and reduce the probability that Japan will impose higher tariffs in the future.
The American agricultural industry posted its highest annual export levels ever recorded in 2021, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced today.
Throughout 2021, FAS was proud to support USDA's efforts to create more and better markets for U.S. agriculture, to address the climate crisis, and to promote nutrition and food security.

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