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The impacts of drought 2021 on the retail price of beef is a topic of interest for media lately. A continued strong demand outlook in North America and internationally is expected to sustain higher prices going forward.

In June 2021, Canadian beef exports were 18% higher compared with June 2020 and 27% above the five-year average for June. Compared with last year, year-to-date (Jan-Jun) exports were up 27% in volume and 25% in value, according to Canfax.

As Canada Beef President Michael Young told the CBC: "I don't see anything on the global horizon that's going to change demand. Demand will remain high.”

In terms of markets, June export volumes increased to the U.S. (16%), Japan (35%), Mexico (108%), mainland China (151%), SE Asia (425%), South Korea (87%), the EU (43%) and MENA (40%).

Beef imports were 17% lower in June 2021 than the year earlier period, and 8% lower from the five-year average for June. On a year-to-date basis (Jan-June), imports were down 12% in volume and 12% in value.

Domestically, Statistics Canada 2020 consumption data showed that while overall per capita consumption of red meat and poultry fell -4.5% to 73.3 kgs/person retail weight, beef consumption held its ground at +0.3% (18 kgs).

The strong demand outlook comes as beef producers across Canada manage through the impacts of drought and wildfires. Canada Beef’s thoughts are with affected producers at this time.
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