The top buyers of U.S. beef, pork and poultry on the global market all cut back purchases this year, but signs point to a return to the normal pace in 2021, one livestock specialist says. Mexico, for example, is usually a huge buyer of U.S. beef, but saw those purchases decline by almost 38% for the year. That kind of decrease comes from disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other recessionary pressures, some related to the virus and others more driven by things like nations’ federal policies. China remains a huge wildcard heading into 2021 as the market will remain focused on how that nation rebuilds its hog herd after facing massive losses from African Swine Fever. Right now, China accounts for almost 1/3 of total U.S. pork exports, a pace that will need to continue to keep the domestic protein sector trending higher in the new year. See more analysis.