Who eats Alberta Beef?

Demand for Alberta beef remains strong, both domestically and internationally. Jason Wood, provincial livestock market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF), breaks down the numbers from the recently released Agriculture Facts 2018.

Estimated Alberta beef production was 732,051 tonnes in 2017, up five per cent from 2016. “Of that,” says Wood,

“Albertans consumed 16 per cent or 117,128 tonnes. Canadians – outside of Alberta – consumed 51.3 per cent, or 375,542 tonnes. Alberta exported 24.3 per cent, or 177,888 tonnes to the U.S., while 8.4 per cent, or 61,492 tonnes, was exported to other countries.”

The domestic demand for beef is strong in Canada. Explains Wood,

“Comparing changes in beef consumption and price shows that consumption decreased about 8.4 per cent between 2013 and 2017 while the indexed price of beef rose 19.5 per cent during that same period. As well, average per capita beef consumption was 25.9 kilograms in 2017, up marginally from the previous year.”

Wood adds that the average of various retail beef product prices, as reported to Statistics Canada, shows that prices have remained relatively flat, averaging $19.30 per kg in the first five months of 2018.

“Based on this average, retail beef prices are down five per cent from highs in 2016 but remain eight per cent higher than the five-year average.”

“By comparison, an average of various retail pork and chicken products shows that prices have shown more stability than beef,” says Wood. “The average retail pork price for 2018 is $12.77 per kg, on par with 2017. That is down three per cent from the high in 2016 and five per cent higher than the five-year average.”

The average retail chicken price in 2018 is $7.40 per kg, up two per cent from 2017, but down 1.6 per cent from 2016 and 1.6 per cent above the five-year average.

“While domestic prices have fluctuated, they have shown more stability compared to global price indices for red meats and poultry,” notes Wood.

For more information about beef production numbers, contact Jason Wood at 780-422-3122.


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