Where’s the Beef? Mid-year beef trade and domestic production signal lower net supply

International demand continues to pull on Canadian beef supplies. January through June 2022, Canadian beef exports were up 4% in volume (249,000 tonnes) and up 19% in value ($2.3 billion) from last year. Exports are projected to ease in the third and fourth quarters to be up 3% annually in 2022.

The US and Japan are Canada’s two biggest beef buyers. Easing volumes to the US in the third and fourth quarters may leave more domestic trim supplies, at least until December. In contrast, large and increasing volumes are being shipped to Japan this year, drawing on available domestic chuck and brisket.

Imports are projected to be lower in 2022, down 12% from 2021. Imports are expected to drop from every major supplier, the US (-17%), Mexico (-10%), and the EU (-45%), except Australia (+20%).

While exports surge and imports wane, the net beef supply to Canadian consumers is projected to be down 3.9% in 2022, the lowest since 2015. Cattle on feed numbers August 1, 2022, were still historically large, but signal the start of a tightening trend to take hold in 2023.

Source: CanFax Research

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