Overall beef exports were worth an estimated US$49.2 billion in 2018. That dollar amount represents a 3.3% increase for global beef shippers over the five-year period starting in 2014. Year over year, the value of international beef sales accelerated by 9.3% from 2017 to 2018.
Among continents, European countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of beef exported during 2018 with shipments valuated at $15 billion or almost one-third (30.4%) of the global total. In second place was Latin America (21.9%) excluding Mexico plus the Caribbean, ahead of worldwide beef shipments originating from North America (21.1%).
Trailing those continental sources were beef exporters from Oceania (17.6%) led by Australia and New Zealand. Smaller percentages track back to exporters in Asia (8.4%) and Africa (0.6%).
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefixes are 0201 for fresh or chilled beef and 0202 for frozen beef.
In 2018, the value of exported fresh or chilled beef amounted to $24.7 billion, slightly exceeding the $24.5 billion for frozen beef. The latter subcategory accounts for 49.7% of overall globally exported beef compared to 50.3% for fresh or chilled beef.
And while the value of fresh or chilled beef exports increased by 8.6% from 2014 to 2018, the comparable metric for frozen beef shipments slipped by -1.5% over the 5-year period.
Top Beef Exporting Countries
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of beef regardless of whether fresh, chilled or frozen during 2018.
- United States: US$7.3 billion (14.8% of total beef exports)
- Australia: $6.5 billion (13.3%)
- Brazil: $5.5 billion (11.1%)
- India: $3.4 billion (6.9%)
- Netherlands: $2.9 billion (5.9%)
- Ireland: $2.3 billion (4.8%)
- New Zealand: $2.1 billion (4.4%)
- Argentina: $1.93 billion (3.93%)
- Canada: $1.91 billion (3.88%)
- Poland: $1.73 billion (3.5%)
- Uruguay: $1.66 billion (3.4%)
- Germany: $1.47 billion (3%)
- Mexico: $1.26 billion (2.6%)
- France: $1.13 billion (2.3%)
- Paraguay: $1.1 billion (2.2%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 85.8% of all beef exported in 2018.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing beef exporters since 2014 were: Argentina (up 86%), Poland (up 46.4%), Mexico (up 38.4%) and Canada (up 27.4%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported beef sales were led by: India (down -29.7%), Germany (down -19.9%), Paraguay (down -14.5%) and Australia (down -7.3%).
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of fresh or chilled beef during 2018.
- United States: US$3.7 billion (14.9% of exported fresh/chilled beef)
- Netherlands: $2.6 billion (10.7%)
- Australia: $2.6 billion (10.3%)
- Ireland: $2 billion (8.2%)
- Canada: $1.5 billion (6.2%)
- Poland: $1.35 billion (5.5%)
- Germany: $1.22 billion (4.9%)
- Mexico: $1.07 billion (4.34%)
- France: $1.06 billion (4.27%)
- Brazil: $899.3 million (3.6%)
- Belgium: $807.5 million (3.3%)
- Argentina: $740.6 million (3%)
- Spain: $643.8 million (2.6%)
- United Kingdom: $489.2 million (2%)
- Paraguay: $448.3 million (1.8%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 85.6% of all fresh or chilled beef exported in 2018.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing fresh or chilled beef exporters since 2014 were: Poland (up 49.3%), Mexico (up 39.2%), Canada (up 30.5%) and Spain (up 24.6%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported fresh or chilled beef sales were led by: Germany (down -22.9%), United Kingdom (down -7%), France (down -5.2%) and Netherlands (down -3.7%).
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of frozen beef during 2018.
- Brazil: US$4.6 billion (18.6% of total exported frozen beef)
- Australia: $4 billion (16.3%)
- United States: $3.6 billion (14.7%)
- India: $3.3 billion (13.6%)
- New Zealand: $1.9 billion (7.7%)
- Uruguay: $1.3 billion (5.3%)
- Argentina: $1.2 billion (4.9%)
- Paraguay: $650.9 million (2.7%)
- Poland: $382.1 million (1.56%)
- Canada: $381.8 million (1.56%)
- Ireland: $301.7 million (1.2%)
- Netherlands: $269.5 million (1.1%)
- Nicaragua: $263.6 million (1.08%)
- Hong Kong: $246.9 million (1.01%)
- Germany: $243.5 million (0.99%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 92.2% of all frozen beef exported in 2018.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing frozen beef exporters since 2014 were: Argentina (up 217.1%), Hong Kong (up 75.9%), Poland (up 36.9%) and Ireland (up 32.4%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported frozen beef sales were led by: India (down -29.6%), Paraguay (down -21.7%), Nicaragua (down -20.2%) and Australia (down -15.5%).
Beef Exporting Companies
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following suppliers actively participate in the international trade of fresh, chilled and frozen beef. Shown within parenthesis is the home-country location for each business:
- Agro Expedition International (Netherlands)
- Cargill (United States)
- Carmelita Export-Import Limited (Ireland)
- Imam Halal Meats New Zealand Ltd (New Zealand)
- Prime Foods International Inc (Canada)
- Ricardo Schneider SS Trade Importacao Exportacao (Brazil)
- Rodriguez Gonzalez Medardo (Uruguay)
- SIBA International (India)
- Tropicana Food And Beverages Gmbh (Germany)
- Yass Valley Beef (Australia)
See also Big Export Sales for Frozen Shrimps, Chicken Exports by Country, Pork Exports by Country and Top Sheep and Lamb Meat Exports
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for beef. Accessed on April 18, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 24, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 18, 2019
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 18, 2019
Wikipedia, Beef. Accessed on April 18, 2019