‘Live cattle imports from the US to Canada were up in 2020 which is the fourth year-over-year increase in a row,’ states Jason Wood, livestock market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. ‘The numbers for the January to December 2020 period shows just over 272,000 non-purebred cattle were imported to Canada. This is up 1.5% compared to 2019.’

Woods adds that Alberta non-purebred cattle imports were over 156,000 head for the January to December 2020 period - down 2.2% compared to 2019 when just under 160,000 head were imported.

‘In 2020, Alberta saw 57% of the cattle imported to Canada come into the province,’ says Woods. ‘This is above Alberta’s 53% average share over the last five years’.

Woods says 2020 Canadian cattle exports were also up 2% for slaughter cattle (steers, heifers and cows) over 2019 and 8% higher than the 5-year average. Feeder cattle exports in 2020 were down 36% year-over-year and 39% lower than the 5-year average.

Image 1: U.S Cattle Imports to Canada and Alberta

Graph of Canadian cattle imports trends

While imports have trended higher Woods say Canadian exports of live cattle to the U.S. trended downward. ‘We saw a 9% drop from 2019 and 7.6% below the 5-year average.’

Image 2: Canadian Live Cattle Exports to the U.S.

Graph of Canadian cattle imports trends


For more information, connect with Jason Wood:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-3122
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

For media inquiries about this article, call Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s media line:
Phone: 780-422-1005

Was this page helpful?

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca. If you require a response, please go to our Contact page.

You will not receive a reply. Submissions that include telephone numbers, addresses, or emails will be removed.