Colorado Beef Exports

Colorado's Growth in Beef Exports Continue to Outpace Total U.S. Exports

Exports of beef from Colorado surged 55 percent in 2008 to $497 million. Colorado's top three markets represented over 91 percent of total exports and in each market Colorado is the number one or two supplier. Exports of beef from Colorado increased at a rate 33 percent faster than total U.S. beef exports, which topped $3 billion in 2008.

Exports of beef from Colorado are comprised of fresh beef (chilled, not frozen), frozen beef and beef variety meats. Fresh beef exports from Colorado represented 81 percent of beef exports, frozen beef represented 14 percent and variety meats represented 5 percent of the state's beef exports.

Exports of beef to Mexico grew by over 37 percent in 2008 to $206 million and Mexico continued in 2008 as the top export market for Colorado beef. Colorado's beef industry supplied over 21 percent of all beef exports from the U.S. to Mexico and was second only to Texas as a beef supplier to Mexico.

Canada remained Colorado's second largest export market for beef, growing 36 percent in 2008 to $171 million.  Colorado ranks first among all states as a supplier of beef to Canada, supplying 28 percent of all beef imported from the U.S. by Canada.

Japan's imports of beef from Colorado grew 122 percent to $76 million with the partial opening of its market to U.S. and Colorado beef. Colorado ranked second among all states as a supplier of beef to Japan and accounted for 20 percent of total U.S. beef exports to Japan in 2008. Colorado's beef industry looks forward to the full opening of the Japan market which should allow Japan's imports to return to and exceed pre-2003 levels.

Korea was Colorado's fourth largest beef export market. With the reopening of the Korean market to Colorado and U.S. beef in mid-2008, exports of beef from Colorado grew from $2.1 million to $30.4 million. Colorado ranked as the top supplier among all states of fresh beef exports to Korea in 2008, supplying over 43 percent of the fresh beef exports from the U.S. to Korea.

Looking Forward

Colorado's beef exports are now 33 percent higher than in 2003 when almost all major markets closed to imports of U.S. beef. Colorado's beef industry looks forward to continued growth of exports to Korea and is optimistic about the potential for a full reopening of the Japanese market. China also holds significant potential but has yet to agree to internationally accepted protocols that would allow for a resumption of beef imports from the U.S.

February 2009
For more information contact:
John Addison, (303) 869-9180