Fresh or Frozen Beef Imports by Country

Grilled rib of beef (Pixabay.com)

Grilled rib of beef

Encompassing fresh, chilled and frozen beef, worldwide purchases of imported beef totaled US$48.5 billion in 2018.

The overall cost of beef imports rose 11.5% for all importing countries since 2014 when beef purchases were valued at $43.5 billion. Year over year, globally imported beef increased in cost by 14.9% from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries consumed the highest dollar worth of imported beef during 2018 with purchases valued at $21.3 billion or 44% of the global total. In second place were European importers at 33.8% while 14.3% of worldwide beef imports were delivered to North America.

Smaller percentages were imported into Latin America (3.9%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (3.6%) then Oceania (0.3%).

The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefixes are 0201 for fresh or chilled beef and 0202 for frozen beef.

Top Beef Importing Countries

Total Beef

Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of beef during 2018, regardless of whether fresh, chilled or frozen.

  1. United States: US$5.3 billion (10.9% of total beef imports)
  2. China: $4.8 billion (9.9%)
  3. Japan: $3.5 billion (7.2%)
  4. South Korea: $2.7 billion (5.6%)
  5. Italy: $2.29 billion (4.7%)
  6. Netherlands: $2.26 billion (4.7%)
  7. Hong Kong: $2.26 billion (4.7%)
  8. Germany: $2.2 billion (4.5%)
  9. Vietnam: $2 billion (4.2%)
  10. United Kingdom: $1.53 billion (3.2%)
  11. France: $1.47 billion (3%)
  12. Russia: $1.3 billion (2.6%)
  13. Egypt: $1.2 billion (2.4%)
  14. Chile: $1.1 billion (2.2%)
  15. Taiwan: $974.9 million (2%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 71.8% of all beef imported in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing beef importers since 2014 were: Vietnam (up 2,084%), China (up 272.1%), South Korea (up 60.9%) and Taiwan (up 41.4%).

Those countries that posted declines in their imported beef purchases were led by: Russia (down -54%), France (down -16%), Italy (down -13.2%) and United Kingdom (down -5.4%).

Fresh/Chilled

Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of fresh or chilled beef during 2018. Purchases for all fresh or chilled beef importers totaled $23.8 billion, increasing in cost by 7.1% since 2014 and rose 6.9% from 2017 to 2018.

  1. United States: US$3.1 billion (12.9% of imported fresh or chilled beef)
  2. Japan: $2.1 billion (8.9%)
  3. Italy: $2 billion (8.2%)
  4. Netherlands: $1.93 billion (8.1%)
  5. Germany: $1.91 billion (8%)
  6. United Kingdom: $1.2 billion (5%)
  7. France: $1.1 billion (4.7%)
  8. Chile: $965.2 million (4.1%)
  9. South Korea: $865.4 million (3.6%)
  10. Mexico: $802.4 million (3.4%)
  11. Spain: $641.7 million (2.7%)
  12. Portugal: $561.5 million (2.4%)
  13. Canada: $560.1 million (2.4%)
  14. Greece: $500.5 million (2.1%)
  15. Denmark: $495.8 million (2.1%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 78.4% of fresh or chilled beef imported in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing fresh or chilled beef importers since 2014 were: South Korea (up 115.4%), Japan (up 31.8%), United States (up 27%) and Portugal (up 18.6%).

Those countries that posted declines in their imported fresh or chilled beef purchases were led by: Canada (down -27.6%), France (down -20.7%), Italy (down -16.8%) and Denmark (down -14.1%).

Frozen

Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of frozen beef during 2018. Purchases for all frozen beef importers totaled $24.7 billion, increasing in cost by 16% since 2014 and accelerated 23.7% from 2017 to 2018.

  1. China: US$4.7 billion (18.9% of total imported frozen beef)
  2. United States: $2.2 billion (9%)
  3. Hong Kong: $2.1 billion (8.5%)
  4. Vietnam: $2 billion (8.1%)
  5. South Korea: $1.8 billion (7.4%)
  6. Japan: $1.4 billion (5.5%)
  7. Egypt: $1.2 billion (4.7%)
  8. Russia: $892.8 million (3.6%)
  9. Taiwan: $579.4 million (2.3%)
  10. Indonesia: $565.1 million (2.3%)
  11. Malaysia: $498.2 million (2%)
  12. Philippines: $436.4 million (1.8%)
  13. Israel: $396.8 million (1.6%)
  14. United Kingdom: $353.6 million (1.4%)
  15. Iran: $348.6 million (1.4%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 78.6% of frozen beef imported in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing frozen beef importers since 2013 were: Vietnam (up 2,272%), China (up 267.4%), Indonesia (up 77.4%) and South Korea (up 43.6%).

Four countries posted declines in their imported frozen beef purchases namely: Russia (down -60.3%), United States (down -26.6%), Egypt (down -3.8%) and Israel (down -0.1%).

Companies

Beef Import/Export Companies

According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following companies participate in the international trade of beef or beef-related products. Shown within parenthesis is the home-country location for each business.

  • AA Seafoods (Pakistan)
  • Afro Asia for Import and Export (Sudan)
  • Al-Zoya Overseas Private Limited (India)
  • Carmelita Export-Import Limited (Ireland)
  • Manka Import and Export Pty Ltd (South Africa)
  • MBI Import and Export Pty Ltd (Belgium)
  • NCC Import Export Company Limited (Vietnam)
  • PFTAGG Export Company Pty Ltd (Australia)
  • RAB Import Export (United States)
  • Shanghai Hansen Global Supply (China)


 

See also Top Beef Exporting Countries, Chicken Exports by Country and Pork Exports by Country

Research Sources:
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for beef. Accessed on April 18, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 18, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 18, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 18, 2019