U.S. beef imports expected to grow on tightened domestic supplies

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U.S. beef imports through November were 8 percent higher than a year ago, aided by increased supplies from Oceania. Imports were higher year-over-year from Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and some South American countries. Beef imports from Australia and New Zealand were 46 and 7 percent higher, year-over-year. Imports from Mexico were 56 percent higher, and those from Uruguay and Brazil also increased. However, imports from Canada and some Central American countries have decreased. Beef imports from Canada were 20 percent lower through November, not surprising given Canada’s contraction in cattle herd numbers. Yearly imports for 2012 are expected to total 2.232 billion pounds, nearly 9 percent higher than a year ago. Import levels are also expected to grow further in 2013 to 2.565 billion pounds—a nearly 15-percent increase.

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