Canada is one of the largest exporters of red meat and livestock in the world, exporting around 45 per cent of Canadian beef and cattle production each year.
Canada produces approximately 1.3 million tonnes of beef annually. In 2016, Canada’s beef industry exported $2.3 billion (359,600 tonnes) of beef, representing 39 per cent of domestic slaughter. This is a new record high in beef export value. Canada exported 622,490 tonnes of beef and cattle valued at $3.6 billion in 2016, representing 47 per cent of beef production (including live slaughter cattle exported).
The Canadian beef industry ships to 56 countries but is reliant on the U.S. for 75 per cent of all beef exports. The next largest export markets are mainland China & Hong Kong (8%), Japan (6%), Mexico (4%) and South Korea 2%, accounting for 96 per cent of total export volumes. All other markets together represent the remaining 4 per cent of Canadian beef exports.
Canada’s beef consumption averaged around 880,000 tonnes in 2015 and 2016. Canadian consumers purchase about 18 kilograms (retail weight) of beef per person per year.
Industry contribution to economy
Canada’s beef industry contributes $33 billion worth of sales of goods and services either directly or indirectly to the economy. Every job in the sector yields another 3.56 jobs elsewhere in the economy. For every $1 of income received by workers and farm owners, another $2.08 is created elsewhere. Either directly or indirectly through induced income effects, the beef sector generates 228,811 jobs (Source: Kulshreshtha, 2012).