Cattle imports and exports


Source: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Jason Wood, provincial livestock market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, updates the numbers as of January 30, 2020.

“Live cattle imports from the U.S. to Canada are up from a year ago, the fourth year-over-year increase,” he says.

Data for the January to November 2019 period shows that just under 243,000 non-purebred head came into Canada during this time, an increase of 40% compared to the same period in 2018.

“Alberta non-purebred cattle imports were more than 145,000 head for the January to November 2019 period,” he explains. “This is an increase of 57% from the same period in 2018, when over 92,000 head were imported.”

He adds that in 2019, 60% of the cattle imported to Canada came to Alberta.

“Over the last 5 years, Alberta’s share of cattle imports have averaged 43% of the Canadian total.”

Meantime, Canadian exports of live cattle to the U.S. were more than 722,000 head in 2019.

“That number is a 14.6% increase from 2018 but is 11% below the 5-year average.”

By category, Wood says that 2019 Canadian cattle exports increased from 2018 by 26% for slaughter cattle, including steers, heifers and cows.

“However, that number decreased 1.6% from the 5-year average. Feeder cattle exports in 2019 were down 4.6% year-over-year and 24% lower than the 5-year average.”

Wood says that current projections for 2020 indicate an increase in fed cattle exports to the U.S., supported by higher cattle on feed numbers.

“Cattle imports from the U.S. are expected to remain supported by cattle exports and a smaller calf crop as beef cow numbers have not expanded.”


For more information, contact Jason Wood:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-2133
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)



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