Beef, pork exports up last year

Beef, pork exports up last year

Alberta 4-H contest offers $1,000 top prize

Submitted by Alberta Agriculture

Canadian beef and pork exports were up last year. Jason Wood, provincial livestock market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry breaks down the 2017 numbers, looks at what is happening this year, and what the growing Chinese market could mean for Alberta beef and pork producers.

In 2017, Canadian beef exports were over 370,000 tonnes with a value of $2.3 billion. The tonnage exported was up 38 per cent, or 100 thousand tonnes, from 2012. Canada’s top five beef export markets were the U.S., Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico, and China. “They accounted for 95 per cent of 2017 beef exports by value,” Woods adds.

Canadian pork exports in 2017 totaled just over 1.1 million tonnes with a value of $3.56 billion. Wood says that is a 3 per cent increase from 2016. The top five exports markets for pork were Japan, U.S., South Korea, China, and Mexico, which accounted for over 92 per cent of exports by value.

Wood says that 2018 looks like another great year for beef and pork exports. “Data for the first two months shows Canadian beef exports up 8 per cent and pork exports up just under 1 per cent on a tonnage basis. On average, Alberta accounts for about 75 per cent of Canadian beef exports and 12 per cent of pork exports.”

As for the growing Chinese market, Wood says that it has become an important market for both Canadian beef and pork products.

“Total Canada pork exports, including offal, to China were $551 million in 2017, or just over 300,000 tonnes, which more than doubled exports from a few years ago,” says Wood. “For offal products, China has imported an average of 42 per cent of total Canadian swine offal exports over the last five years.”

Alberta’s pork exports, including offal to China in 2017 were over $24 million.

Canadian beef exports to China were over $82 million in 2017, up 34 per cent from 2016. Alberta accounted for about 88 per cent of total Canadian beef exports to China in 2017, valued at over $73 million.

“Chinese market access for beef and pork is expected to continue to grow with the implementation of a 2016 agreement to expand market access for Canadian frozen bone-in beef and the start of a pilot project for Canadian chilled beef and pork imports,” Wood adds.

For more information, contact Jason Wood,, provincial livestock market analyst at 780-422-3122.

4-H Young Guns contest

Are you between the ages of eight and 21, and involved in Beef 4-H, junior cattle shows, or beef production? This is your opportunity to win one of three prizes in the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) Young Guns Contest.

Tell the APB what connects you to the land in Alberta and how beef production and the environment – the land, water and air, conservation and stewardship – are connected. An entry may be submitted as an essay, video, advertisement, presentation, blog post, press release or any other form of communication.

Be creative. Three prizes are available:

1st Place – $1,000

2nd Place – $500

3rd Place – $250

Find the entry form at,, and send contest submissions to: Katelyn Laverdure, Communications Manager, Alberta Beef Producers, 165, 6815 8 Street NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7H7 or email

Entries must be received by midnight, June 1, 2018 to be eligible to win. The winners will be determined by a panel of judges at the Alberta Beef Producers Semi Annual Meeting in June and will be contacted by June 22, 2018.