That dollar amount reflects a 24.4% gain from the $5.3 billion that the US spent on overall beer imports 5 years earlier in 2017, and a 10.9% year-over-year increase from 2020 to 2021.
Beer is the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage ahead of wine and vodka. Ale is also the fifth-most consumer drink on the planet trailing only water, tea, coffee and orange juice.
From a continent perspective, over three-quarters (76.6 percent) of America’s global spending on imported beer came from exporters in North America. In second place were suppliers in Europe (22 percent).
Tinier percentages originated from Asia (0.65%), Latin America (0.64%), New Zealand and Australia in Oceania (0.03 percent), and Africa (0.02 percent).
Main Countries Supplying Beer to American Importers
Below are the 20 countries from which the United States purchased 99.4 percent of its overall spending on beer in 2020.
Mexico is America’s number one beer supplier accounting for three-quarters (75.1 percent) of US total payments for imported beer in 2021. The second-biggest provider is the Netherlands (12.1 percent) with Belgium (3.7 percent) placing a distant third.
- Mexico: US$5 billion (up 17.1% from 2021)
- Netherlands: $798.9 million (down -7.3%)
- Belgium: $242.7 million (down -33.3%)
- Ireland: $181.6 million (up 5.2%)
- Canada: $103.2 million (up 0.05%)
- Germany: $92.9 million (up 20.3%)
- Poland: $42.3 million (up 300.1%)
- Italy: $36.9 million (up 38.6%)
- Jamaica: $24.3 million (up 23.7%)
- United Kingdom: $15.2 million (up 1.7%)
- Austria: $13.7 million (up 125.4%)
- Vietnam: $13.3 million (up 57%)
- Czech Republic: $12.6 million (up 40.4%)
- Japan: $7.9 million (up 57.5%)
- South Korea: $7 million (up 83.6%)
- Guatemala: $5.8 million (up 9.9%)
- Spain: $5.7 million (up 35%)
- India: $5.1 million (up 158.6%)
- France: $4.4 million (up 18.3%)
- Nicaragua: $4.1 million (up 509.4%)
Posting triple-digit increases from 2020 to 2021 in their beer sales to the US were suppliers in Nicaragua (up 509.4%), Poland (up 300.1 percent), India (up 158.6 percent) and Austria (up 125.4 percent).
Other major gains were realized by beer shippers in South Korea (up 83.6 percent), Japan (up 57.5 percent), Vietnam (up 57 percent) and the Czech Republic (up 40.4 percent).
Year over year, the biggest losers in terms of selling beer to the US were Belgium (down -33.3 percent) and the Netherlands (down -7.3 percent).
Major US Beer Suppliers by Shipment Volume
In terms of the physical amount of beer shipped to buyers in the United States in 2021, the top 3 international suppliers are Mexico, the Netherlands and Canada.
Collectively, that trio of leading suppliers of brew imported by the US by total volume collected 89 percent of America’s spending on global beer imports during 2021.
Below are the top 20 countries that furnished the highest amounts of beer by volume.
- Mexico: 3.5 million cubic meters of beer (up 13.3% from 2021)
- Netherlands: 488,143 cubic meters (down -9.5%)
- Canada: 142,662 cubic meters (up 0.8%)
- Belgium: 132,704 cubic meters (down -37.4%)
- Ireland: 125,501 cubic meters (up 22.7%)
- Germany: 68,771 cubic meters (up 17.8%)
- Italy: 37,506 cubic meters (up 22.3%)
- Poland: 32,554 cubic meters (up 190.9%)
- Jamaica: 17,119 cubic meters (up 19.1%)
- Czech Republic: 8,584 cubic meters (up 7.1%)
- Vietnam: 8,429 cubic meters (up 54.5%)
- United Kingdom: 8,283 cubic meters (down -1.9%)
- Guatemala: 7,093 cubic meters (up 9.7%)
- Austria: 6,849 cubic meters (up 71.6%)
- France: 4,939 cubic meters (up 20.7%)
- South Korea: 4,729 cubic meters (up 28.8%)
- Nicaragua: 4,194 cubic meters (up 641.0%)
- Spain: 3,796 cubic meters (up 30.1%)
- Japan: 3,233 cubic meters (up 25.8%)
- Denmark: 2,974 cubic meters (up 13.7%)
As measured by volume, the listed 20 countries shipped 99.5 percent of US beer imports.
Among America’s top beer suppliers by volume, the fastest-growing provider of beer as measured in cubic meters is Nicaragua (up 641% from 2020 to 2021). In second place were beer exporters in Poland (up 190.9 percent) ahead of Austria (up 71.6 percent), Vietnam (up 54.5 percent) then Spain (up 30.1 percent).
The 3 volume decliners supplying beer to the US were Belgium (down -37.4 percent), Netherlands (down -9.5 percent) and the United Kingdom (down -1.9 percent).
Lowest and Highest Unit Prices for US Imported Beer
The average unit price that the United States for all beer imported in 2021 was US$1,430 per cubic meter of the world’s most in-demand alcoholic beverage.
The average per cubic meter sales charge from Mexico, the number one supplier of US beer imports, was $1,421–modestly below the global average.
Ranked in ascending order, listed below are the 10 top beer suppliers charging the least expensive average unit prices paid by American beer importers.
- Canada: US$723 per cubic meter of beer (down -0.7% from 2021)
- Guatemala: $821 (up 0.2%)
- France: $896 (down -2%)
- Italy: $985 (up 13.3%)
- Nicaragua: $988 (down -17.7%)
- Poland: $1,298 (up 37.5%)
- Germany: $1,350 (up 2.1%)
- Mexico: $1,421 (up 3.3%)
- Jamaica: $1,421 (up 3.9%)
- Ireland: $1,447 (down -14.3%)
Posting the greatest reductions in average unit price per cubic meter of US imported beer from 2020 to 2021 were low-cost exporters in Nicaragua (down -17.7 percent), Ireland (down -14.3 percent) and France (down -2 percent).
The following top 10 countries satisfying US demand for imported beer charged the highest average unit prices.
- India: US$2,508 per cubic meter of beer (up 12.8% from 2021)
- Japan: $2,440 (up 25.2%)
- Austria: $1,997 (up 31.4%)
- United Kingdom: $1,830 (up 3.7%)
- Belgium: $1,829 (up 6.6%)
- Netherlands: $1,637 (up 2.4%)
- Vietnam: $1,577 (up 1.6%)
- Spain: $1,502 (up 3.8%)
- South Korea: $1,490 (up 42.6%)
- Czech Republic: $1,467 (up 31.1%)
The 4 highest increases in average unit prices for 2021 compared to 2020 in terms of US imported beer was delivered by South Korea (up 42.6 percent), Austria (up 31.4 percent), Czech Republic (up 31.1 percent) and Japan (up 25.2 percent)
See also US Imported Wine Ranked by Suppliers & Average Prices, Beer Exports by Country, Beer Imports by Country, America’s Top Trading Partners, United States Top 10 Imports and US Aluminum Imports by Supplying Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on May 6, 2022
Haley’s Daily Blog, 9 Most Consumed Beverages Around the World. Accessed on May 6, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 6, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on May 6, 2022