Canadian beef exports at record pace, pork also strong

A chef prepares a rib eye steak on the grill at a restaurant in Mexico City. Canadian beef sales to Mexico increased 118 percent this year.


By D'Arce McMillan, The Western Producer (Canada)

November 18, 2021


It is a tough year for Western Canada’s beef cattle producers, who saw pastures wither under intense summer heat and drought, which also caused feedgrain and forage prices to soar, making it difficult to maintain breeding herds.


But one part of the beef chain is having a record year — exports.


Pork exports are also strong and for once the story is not all about Chinese demand.


Data from Statistics Canada that goes to the end of September shows the value of beef and veal exports at $3.23 billion, which is almost equal to the $3.26 billion in revenue that came in all of 2020. With three months of exports still to be counted, it seems certain beef and veal exports will set a substantially larger new record high.


The revenue boost is attributed to increased tonnage sold and the rising price of the product.


Indeed, the price of meat, like many grocery items as well as other goods and energy, has sharply increased this year.


This has prompted some analysts to speculate that higher living costs might cause consumers to reduce the expensive items in the grocery cart, such as meat.


However, so far consumers might complain but have not yet stopped buying. This also applies to overseas customers.


Comparing the nine months to September this year to the same period last year, the tonnage of Canadian beef exported is up 24.6 percent and the total value is up 37.8 percent.


As usual, the United States is by far the biggest customer, buying 73 percent of all exports by value in the nine months. Sales rose 32 percent .


Other countries taking more Canadian beef include Japan, where sales rose 41 percent, Mexico which increased 118 percent, and China, which increased 106 percent.


Another positive factor...