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.
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.