U.S. cattle imports totaled 1.297 million through July 2014, an increase of 12 percent from last year. Imports have increased most from Canada (up 11 percent) due to strong demand for feeder cattle. Canadian feeder cattle shipments through July are 39 percent higher than last year, while imports of slaughter animals have declined 4 percent (see figure). Thus far in 2014, imports of feeder cattle account for 29 percent, and slaughter animals account for 59 percent of total cattle imports from Canada. Imports are also up from Mexico (up 12 percent). Despite lower cattle supplies in Mexico and talk of rebuilding, strong U.S. prices continue to draw cattle across the border. The forecast for U.S. cattle imports in 2014 is 2.150 million, up 6 percent from 2013. Imports are forecast at 2.175 million in 2015. While strong U.S. demand will continue, reduced inventories in both Canada and Mexico are expected to limit stronger growth in shipments.
Source: USDA Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook