The majority of BC ranchers produce calves. Roughly 95% of the calves produced are transported to Alberta for finishing. Of the remaining 5%, many are shipped to the U.S. BC has a small feedlot and abattoir industry compared with Alberta and the U.S.
Most of the resulting beef that is processed in Alberta is consumed in Canada. South Korea, Taiwan, the US and Japan are main export markets for frozen beef from BC. This past year, the removal of longstanding barriers in the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) deal reached with the European Union will enable Canadian beef producers to benefit from new duty-free access for Canadian beef valued at nearly $600 million. The deal, once finalized, will provide Canada’s producers with another market to pursue and helps to increase the value of every animal produced in Canada.
The tariff has been the main impediment to accessing the Korean market since Korea lifted its BSE prohibition on Canada in early 2012. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement reached in March 2014 means Canadian beef will be able to once again compete for meaningful access in the Korean market, and it will signal to Korean buyers that they can resume their relationship with Canadian beef and maintain a long-term competitive position. Korea will also provide Canada a toehold in Asia and will add renewed emphasis on negotiations with Japan.
The US remains the most important export market for live cattle from BC, taking 99% of this market. Reversely, the U.S. is also the main source of import cattle into BC.
Although BC has a relatively small portion of the national cattle herd, BC beef producers are just as dependent on strong domestic and foreign demand. BCCA supports and participates in strengthening both areas through provincial marketing initiatives, international trade missions, and funding to the national and international marketing organizations.
For more information on beef export and marketing outside British Columbia, click here for Canada Beef Inc.
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