Red meat trade with EU remains nearly one-way street


By Robert Arnason, The Western Producer (Canada)

January 6, 2022


The red meat trade between Canada and the European Union was tilted significantly in favour of Europe in 2021, based on Agriculture Canada data for the first 10 months of the year.


From January to October, European companies shipped $257 million worth of pork and beef to Canada. Most of that was pork, at $179 million, up 32 percent from the same period in 2020. The data does not include the United Kingdom, which is no longer part of the EU.


Germany leads the pack, exporting $68 million worth of pork to Canada. Thatís a massive jump from 2020, when Germany sold $26 million to Canada from January to October.


Italy is in the number two spot, exporting $36 million worth of pork to Canada.


The German sales to Canada could be related to African swine fever. The disease, which is deadly for pigs, was detected in Germany in 2020 and has since spread to three states. China has banned imports of German pork due to ASF concerns because the virus can be transmitted through infected meat. Without access to China, German pork exporters have been seeking other markets, including Canada.


While pork exports are up, EU beef sales to Canada slipped in 2021. Europe shipped $77.5 million worth of beef to Canada from January to October, down from $85 million in 2020.


In the first 10 months of 2021, Canadian beef exports to the EU climbed 33 percent. That sounds like a lot, but exports went from $13 million in 2020 to $17 million this year. In comparison, Canada exported $160 million in beef to Mexico from January to October.


As for pork, Canadian sales to the EU are barely worth mentioning.


Exports were $1.6 million from January to October...