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U.S. Experiences Growth in Livestock Imports: Cattle and Swine Trends in 2023

In the first half of 2023, the United States witnessed notable developments in its livestock imports, particularly in cattle and swine. Data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service reveals intriguing insights into these trends, reflecting changes in supply, demand, and economic factors affecting the livestock industry.

Cattle Imports Surge in 2023

One of the standout trends is the significant increase in cattle imports during the first half of 2023. This surge, amounting to 953,000 head, represents an 11% rise compared to the previous year. A key driver behind this growth is the tightening supply of cattle within the United States, accompanied by higher domestic cattle prices. Over the past five years, approximately 75% of cattle imports consisted of feeder cattle, 25% were intended for immediate slaughter, and less than 1% were for breeding purposes. During the first half of 2023, feeder cattle imports, totaling around 687,000 head, increased by over 19% year over year, although they remained below the 2018-2022 average. Impressively, 88% of these feeder cattle originated from Mexico.

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