U.S.: Beef and Veal Imports and Exports Volume, by year
in million pounds
in million pounds
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 2006 to 2023
  • Published: Febr 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Overall trend in beef and veal imports and exports

Between 2006 and 2023, the U.S. saw a significant increase in both beef and veal imports and exports. Exports grew by 165%, from 1145 million pounds in 2006 to 3038 million pounds in 2023, while imports increased by 21%, from 3085 million pounds in 2006 to 3727 million pounds in 2023. The larger growth rate in exports compared to imports suggests a strengthening of the U.S. position in the global beef market over these years.

Year with the highest trade imbalance

The year 2023 marked the highest trade imbalance in the period studied, with imports exceeding exports by 689 million pounds. This disparity indicates a significant shift towards a trade deficit in beef and veal products, contrasting with earlier years where the balance was more even or favored exports.

Exports peak and recent decline

The peak for U.S. beef and veal exports was in 2022, reaching 3544 million pounds. However, there was a notable decrease to 3038 million pounds by 2023, representing a 14% decline within a single year. This recent downturn highlights potential challenges in the export market or changes in global demand patterns.

Imports show steady growth

Imports demonstrated a steady growth pattern, with a significant jump from 3052 million pounds in 2007 to 3727 million pounds by 2023. Notably, there was an acceleration in import growth starting in 2015, with imports reaching 3371 million pounds, suggesting increased reliance on foreign beef and veal over domestic production in recent years.

Notable growth in exports post-2016

Following a low point in 2016 with exports at 2257 million pounds, the U.S. experienced a remarkable recovery and growth in beef and veal exports. By 2023, exports had grown to 3038 million pounds, marking a 35% increase over this period. This recovery underscores the U.S. beef industry's resilience and growing global demand.

Long-term increase in imports from 2006 to 2023

The data reveals a long-term increase in beef and veal imports, growing from 3085 million pounds in 2006 to 3727 million pounds in 2023. This 21% increase over 17 years highlights a consistent upward trend in the U.S.'s reliance on imported beef and veal, which may reflect changes in consumption patterns, domestic production constraints, or both.

Significant shifts in trade balance

The trade balance, represented by the difference between exports and imports, has seen significant shifts. Notably, the years 2011 and 2013 showcased a more export-oriented balance with exports at 2785 million pounds and 2588 million pounds respectively, against lower imports. In contrast, the trend in 2023 with higher imports (3727 million pounds) versus exports (3038 million pounds) indicates a shift towards a net import scenario, highlighting changing dynamics in the U.S. beef and veal market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What has been the overall trend in US imports and exports of beef and veal?

Between 2006 and 2023, both imports and exports of beef and veal in the US increased, with exports growing by 165% and imports increasing by 21%.

In which year was the trade imbalance of beef and veal the highest?

The highest trade imbalance occurred in 2023, when imports exceeded exports by 689 million pounds.

When did the US experience a peak in beef and veal exports and how has it changed since then?

The peak in US beef and veal exports occurred in 2022 with 3544 million pounds, but there was a 14% decline to 3038 million pounds by 2023.

Terms and Definitions

Beef is a term used to refer to the meat from cattle. It's one of the most consumed types of meat globally. Beef is divided into various cuts, including sirloin, brisket, and ribs, each used in different dishes.

Veal is the meat that comes from young cattle, typically less than 20 weeks old. The meat is tender and lighter in color compared to beef, and it's often considered a delicacy in many cultures.

Imports are goods and services that a country buys from other countries. In the context of this article, beef and veal imports refer to the amount of these goods that U.S. businesses purchase from other nations.

Exports are goods and services that a country sells to other nations. When referred to in the context of this article, beef and veal exports mean the quantity of these products that U.S businesses sell to businesses in other nations.

Trade balance is the difference in value over a period of time of a country's imports and exports of merchandise. A positive balance occurs when exports exceed imports (a trade surplus), and a negative balance when imports exceed exports (a trade deficit).

Commodities are raw materials or primary agricultural products that can be bought, sold or traded, such as gold, oil, or in this case, beef and veal. They are often used as inputs in the production of other goods or services.
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