That dollar total represents an average 33.3% increase for worldwide beef shippers over the five-year period starting in 2017 when overall beef exports were worth $45 billion.
Year over year, the value of international beef sales accelerated by 19.8% from $50.1 billion during 2020.
From a continental perspective, Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean earned the highest dollar amount for exporting all types of beef during 2021. Those Latin American plus Caribbean shipments were worth $15.8 billion or over one quarter (26.2%) of the world total.
Close behind in second place at 25.9% were European countries, ahead of worldwide beef shipments originating from North America (24.1%). Trailing those continental sources were beef exporters from Oceania (16.7%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Smaller percentages trace back to exporters in Asia (6.7%) and Africa (0.4%).
Exports by Type of Beef
Fresh or chilled beef exports were worth $28.8 billion in 2021 or 48% of global beef exports. That percentage exceeds the 46.7% one year earlier in 2020.
Frozen beef shipments were valued at $31.3 billion for 2021 or 52% of the world total. The percentage for frozen beef shrank from 53.3% for 2020.
The annual increase for fresh or chilled exported beef was a 23.1% acceleration from 2020 to 2021, outpacing the 16.9% year-over-year gain for frozen exported beef.
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefixes are 0201 for fresh or chilled beef and 0202 for frozen beef.
Top Beef Exporting Countries
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of beef during 2021, combining all fresh, chilled and frozen versions.
- United States: US$9.3 billion (15.4% of total beef exports)
- Brazil: $8 billion (13.3%)
- Australia: $7.2 billion (11.9%)
- Canada: $3.2 billion (5.2%)
- Netherlands: $3.1 billion (5.2%)
- India: $3 billion (5%)
- New Zealand: $2.85 billion (4.7%)
- Argentina: $2.76 billion (4.6%)
- Ireland: $2.5 billion (4.2%)
- Uruguay: $2.2 billion (3.6%)
- Mexico: $2.1 billion (3.4%)
- Poland: $1.9 billion (3.1%)
- Paraguay: $1.6 billion (2.6%)
- Germany: $1.4 billion (2.3%)
- France: $1.2 billion (2%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 86.7% of all beef exports in 2021.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing beef exporters from 2020 to 2021 were: Canada (up 43%), United States of America (up 41.6%), Paraguay (up 39.3%) and Uruguay (up 38.6%).
Those major suppliers that posted the most modest annual gains in exported beef sales were: Argentina (up 2.1%), Australia (up 4.5%), Brazil (up 7%) and India (up 7.4%).
Top 15 Exporters of Fresh or Chilled Beef
The top exporters for fresh or chilled beef are the United States and Australia supplying over one quarter of globally exported fresh or chilled beef.
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of fresh or chilled beef during 2021.
- United States: US$4.7 billion (16.3% of exported fresh or chilled beef)
- Australia: $3 billion (10.4%)
- Netherlands: $2.8 billion (9.6%)
- Canada: $2.5 billion (8.8%)
- Ireland: $1.9 billion (6.7%)
- Mexico: $1.8 billion (6.4%)
- Poland: $1.4 billion (4.8%)
- Germany: $1.2 billion (4%)
- France: $1.1 billion (3.7%)
- Brazil: $996.2 million (3.5%)
- Spain: $795.7 million (2.8%)
- Paraguay: $787.2 million (2.7%)
- Argentina: $779.3 million (2.7%)
- Belgium: $683 million (2.4%)
- Italy: $447.7 million (1.6%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 86.3% of all fresh or chilled beef exports in 2021.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing fresh or chilled beef exporters from 2020 to 2021 were: Paraguay (up 49.5%), Canada (up 40%), Mexico (up 35.7%) and the United States of America (up 32.2%).
The top suppliers that posted single-digit gains in their exported fresh or chilled beef sales were Ireland (up 7.1%) and Australia (up 9%).
Top 15 Exporters of Frozen Beef
The world’s biggest exporters of frozen beef are Brazil and America. Collectively, that pair generated more than a third (36.9%) of exported frozen beef sales.
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of frozen beef during 2021.
- Brazil: US$7 billion (22.3% of total exported frozen beef)
- United States: $4.6 billion (14.6%)
- Australia: $4.2 billion (13.3%)
- India: $2.9 billion (9.4%)
- New Zealand: $2.5 billion (7.9%)
- Argentina: $2 billion (6.4%)
- Uruguay: $1.8 billion (5.8%)
- Paraguay: $769.9 million (2.5%)
- Canada: $625.2 million (2%)
- Ireland: $591.7 million (1.9%)
- Poland: $492 million (1.6%)
- Netherlands: $393.2 million (1.3%)
- Nicaragua: $368.2 million (1.2%)
- Belarus: $313.7 million (1%)
- Japan: $256.9 million (0.8%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 91.8% of all frozen beef exports in 2021.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing frozen beef exporters from 2020 to 2021 were: Japan (up 90.4%), Canada (up 56.5%), Netherlands (up 56.4%) and the United States of America (up 52.8%).
Argentina is the lone top supplier to post a decline in its exported frozen beef sales thanks to its -3.5% drop compared to 2020.
Major 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)
Related Read: Average Frozen Beef Prices Compared by Top Exporters
See also Fresh or Frozen Beef Imports by Country, Chicken Exports by Country, Pork Exports by Country, Top Sheep and Lamb Meat Exports and Top Goat Meat Exports by Country
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for beef. Accessed on June 25, 2022
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on June 25, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 25, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 25, 2022
Wikipedia, Beef. Accessed on June 25, 2022