Canada’s Beef Industry Dwindles While US Sees Steady Rise

Sep 12, 2012 02:16 PM EDT | By Sharon Robinson

According to a recent study, Canada is on the verge of becoming a net importer of beef because of too much dependence on the U.S.

The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute study says that Canada has been increasingly exporting low-value cuts to the U.S, while importing higher beef products, reports The Globe and Mail. In other words, a surplus of beef exports to the U.S processed and re-packaged there and is imported once again into Canada.

According to the Globe and Mail, Canadians are buying beef products from cows which were grown in Canada, but processed in the U.S. this has been creating a trade imbalance for Canada.

"Today the mindset seems to be to produce cattle and beef for the United States," said David McInnes, chief executive of the policy organization, from Ottawa, according to Reuters. "And they're getting the value off it."

Further, the revenue from beef exports has fallen to Canadian $42 million in 2011, compared to $1.4 billion in 2002.

The Canadian beef industry is trying to break into new markets. Canada has obtained access to some countries in Asia, including Korea and China, reports Reuters.

"While recognizing that the U.S. will always be a key market for Canada, we have also attained beef access in China, Korea and other growing markets," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, in a statement, according to Reuters. "We will continue to work with the beef industry as they develop a road map to ensure that they can take advantage of new market access and opportunities."

Separately, the beef industry of the U.S. has been seeing steady beef exports, even though orders have fallen. With Japan lowering the age limit of cows from which it exports meat, U.S. is likely to see an increase in sales.

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