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

The COVID-19 crisis and the closure of the European hospitality sector during much of the past year kept EU imports of U.S. beef into its High Quality Beef (HQB) quota well below availability.
The Government of Ukraine adopted new labeling requirements for country of origin or place of origin for selected food products on April 1, 2021.
International Agricultural Trade Report

Banner Year for U.S. Beef Exports in 2021

As countries roll back COVID-19 restrictions, foreign market demand for beef is becoming a bright spot for U.S. producers.

News and Features

Washington, DC – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today issued a report highlighting the progress made to date in implementing the agricultural provisions in the U.S.-China Phase One...
Secretary Perdue: China Phase I Deal is a Bonanza for American Agriculture
Washington, D.C., Nov. 25, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today published a final rule clarifying the requirements for reporting foreign sales of beef and pork under the Export Sales Reporting...

Get reports, news, and more delivered straight to your inbox