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Cattle trade update

Contributed by Derrell S. Peel Published on 16 September 2019

Total cattle imports in July were down 4.1%, with year-to-date total cattle imports up 14.7% year over year for the January through July period. Cattle imports in 2018 totaled 1.9 million head, including 66.8% Mexican cattle and 33.2% from Canada.

Feeder cattle imports (from Mexico and Canada) accounted for 77.5% of total cattle imports, with slaughter cattle (from Canada) adding another 21.8% of the total. Breeding cattle imports made up less than 1% of total cattle imports.

Data for July showed monthly cattle imports from Mexico were down 7.4% compared to July 2018. Year-to-date cattle imports from Mexico for the first seven months of the year are up 12.5% year over year. Thus far in 2019, feeder heifers made up 19.8% of Mexican cattle imports, and steers accounted for 80.1% of Mexican cattle imports. The proportion of steers and heifers is unchanged from 2018 levels. A total of 1.27 million head of Mexican cattle were imported in 2018, equivalent to 3.5% of the 2018 U.S. calf crop. 

July cattle imports from Canada were up 2.5% year over year, contributing to a 19% year-to-date increase in total Canadian cattle imports for the first seven months of this year. For the January to July period, Canadian cattle imports consisted of 33% feeder cattle and 61.8% slaughter cattle. Feeder cattle imports from Canada included 76.7% heifers, up 19.5% year over year. Year-to-date feeder steer imports are down 18%, with total Canadian feeder cattle imports up 8%. Canadian feeder cattle imports in 2018 totaled just over 205,000 head, equal to 0.6% of the 2018 U.S. calf crop.

Canadian slaughter cattle imports thus far in 2019 are up 26.7% year over year and include 66.2% slaughter steers and heifers, and 33.8% slaughter cows and bulls. Year-to-date slaughter steer and heifer imports are up 45.5% year over year. 2018 slaughter steer and heifer imports from Canada totaled 239,317 head and represented 0.9% of total yearling slaughter in the U.S. Year-to-date imports of Canadian slaughter cows and bulls are up 1% year over year. Total imports of slaughter cows and bulls in 2018 were 175,495 head and accounted for 2.6% of total U.S. cow and bull slaughter.

Cattle exports from the U.S. were down 3.4% in July with a year-to-date total of 128,050 head, up 21.3% year over year. Cattle exports consisted of 84.9% to Mexico with another 10.1% to Canada. end mark

This originally appeared in the Sept. 9, 2019, OSU Cow/Calf Corner newsletter. 

Derrell S. Peel
  • Derrell S. Peel

  • Livestock Marketing Specialist
  • Oklahoma State University Extension

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