Canadian beef exports to key markets up in 2009

by Bryan Salvage
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CALGARY, ALBERTA — Exports of Canadian beef to key markets in Asia and Mexico increased in 2009 marking the fourth straight year of growth in these markets, according to a survey completed by the Canada Beef Export Federation (C.B.E.F.) of its export members.

Export members recorded increased exports to Japan (98%), Taiwan (64%) and Russia (111%), with small decreases in Hong Kong/Macau (8%) and Mexico (2%). Exports to these markets in 2009 totaled 84,400 tonnes for a value of C$322 million ($306 million) for Canadian exporters.

“Despite a very difficult year which saw markets impacted by the worldwide financial crisis and H1N1, Canadian beef exports to key international markets increased or managed to hold their own,” said Gib Drury, C.B.E.F. board chair. “Viewed in the context that American beef exports to world markets in the first 11 months of 2009 were down 10%, Canada’s gains represent even greater success when compared to our larger and better-funded American competitor.”

C.B.E.F.’s export member survey is completed each year in January by the Federation’s export members, who represent approximately 95% of Canada’s beef processing and exporting sector.

Export members forecast once again that more than 100% of future industry growth will come from non-U.S. exports, according to survey results. Exports of Canadian beef and veal to all markets are forecast to grow by 36,000 tonnes (C$138 million/$131 million) — from 414,000 tonnes (C$1.404 billion/$1.334 billion) in 2009 to 450,000 tonnes (C$1.542 billion/$1.464 billion) in 2020.

Over the same period, exports to the U.S. are forecast to decline by 27,000 tonnes (C$89 million/$85 million) — from 319,000 tonnes (C$1.053 billion/$1 billion) in 2009 to 292,000 tonnes (C$964 million/$915 million) in 2020. Exports to markets outside of the U.S. are expected to increase by 64,000 tonnes (C$227 million/$216 million) — from 95,000 tonnes ($351 million) in 2009 to 158,000 tonnes (C$578 million/$549 million) in 2020.

Export members attributed a larger percentage of their exports outside the U.S. to the Federation's programs and service in 2009 (41%) as compared to 2008 (23%), the survey indicated. This further indicates the C.B.E.F. was directly responsible for C$143 million ($136 million) in Canadian beef and veal exports in 2009, C.B.E.F. claims. In terms of return on investment, every dollar invested in the C.B.E.F. resulted in more than C$19 ($18) in beef exports last year.

C.B.E.F. export members also reported their investment in support of exports outside of the U.S. and jobs created outside the U.S. In 2009, they invested C$3.9 million ($3.7 million) in capital expenditure and created 236 jobs. In 2010, they expect to invest C$7.1 million ($6.7 million) and create 273 new jobs.
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