JRN 203

US beef markets growing as domestic consumption falls 

By Kelsey Block

Beef markets in the United States have been experiencing a steady increase in revenue, mostly due, it seems, to exports in foreign markets.

According to a report by the US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, the value of US beef exports more than doubled between 2002 and 2013.

Despite Reuters‘ report that producers lost nearly $11 billion loss in exports between 2004 and 2007 due to an outbreak of mad cow disease, markets are once again surging. Just last year, the beef industry earned nearly $6 billion in export revenue. (See fig. 1)

According to the USDA, domestic beef consumption was at its highest during the outbreak, while the foreign markets crashed almost entirely. (See figs. 1 and 2) Since then, however, US consumers have been steadily decreasing their consumption of beef. The amount of beef consumed in the U.S. peaked at 28.1 billion lbs. in 2007, and, as of 2013, is now down to 25.5 billion lbs.

After the outbreak, foreign markets seemed to return to normal – with one major change. The amount of US beef exports to Japan and South Korea fell, while the exports to US neighbors Canada and Mexico grew substantially. (See fig. 3)

View the original data here.

Fig. 1

Line graph


Fig. 2

Bar chart


Fig 3.

Pie Chart


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