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 United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on December 31, 2020, and the Covid pandemic have both presented challenges and opportunities for the livestock sector.
In 2020, Spanish livestock exports continued to reach record levels mainly driven by significant demand in the Middle East for cattle and in Asian markets for pork.
International Agricultural Trade Report

Vietnam: A Feed Importing Powerhouse

Vietnam is an emerging economy in Southeast Asia that has experienced rapid growth and development during the last few decades. As has historically been the case in many countries, growth in animal-based protein consumption has gone hand-in-hand with this economic development.

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...


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