A recent economic report authored by livestock economists at Oklahoma State University revealed that a halt in U.S. international beef trade would be nothing short of disastrous for American beef producers. Even a more modest 10% decline in exports and imports would cause significant price disruptions and quantity chaos for both feeder cattle and fed cattle. The economic loss of that production over 10 years would be $12.9 billion to feeder cattle sellers and $8.6 billion to fed cattle sellers.

The report quantifies how critical the U.S. beef trade is and was spurred by requests from the Kansas Beef Council, Oklahoma Beef Council and the Texas Beef Council. A primary emphasis of the report is how critical both exports and imports are for the economic success of the U.S. beef industry. Cattlemen share a vested interest in the U.S. beef trade, particularly after the disruption in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19. These numbers greatly impact consumers, too. Any disruption means the ground beef market loses its supply security, inevitably raising the price and taking value away from other markets where ground beef is also used.

Read more on the importance of U.S. beef trade here.