U.S. cattle imports for 2013 are forecast at 2.05 million head, about 9 percent lower than a year ago. While imports from Canada are expected to rise, a fall in imports from Mexico will offset the gain. According to AMS weekly reports, cattle imports from Mexico through July 6 were 45 percent below year-earlier levels, a reflection of smaller inventories in Mexico. Through June 29, AMS reports show that imports from Canada are 36 percent higher than the previous year due to a significant rise in imports of feeder and slaughter cattle. Total cattle imports for 2014 are forecast at 2 million head, or 2.5 percent lower than 2013 levels.

U.S. beef imports revised lower in 2013
U.S. beef imports fell in May 2013 to 204 million pounds, a decline of 16 percent from last year. From January through May, total imports were down only 1 percent compared with year-earlier levels as lower shipments from Canada (-20 percent) and Australia (-17 percent) were partly offset by increases from New Zealand (+26 percent) and Mexico (+20 percent). Imports are forecast to increase 8 percent in 2013 to 2.4 billion pounds, but the forecast was lowered from last month to reflect weaker than expected demand and higher prices. Imports in 2014 are forecast at 2.74 million pounds, or an increase of 14 percent year-over-year.