Cattle exported from Mexico to the United States, 1989-2009

A bar chart showing exported cattle from Mexico to the United States, years 1989 to 2009.

Cattle production provides vital economic activity for the large expanse of nonarable land in Mexico, and the United States is the primary export market. Cattle raised for export in Mexico represent, on average, more than half of all U.S. cattle imports. In 12 of the years between 1989 and 2009, Mexico exported over a million head of cattle, mostly steers and heifers for feeding, to the United States. In 1995, large numbers of cattle were exported from Mexico due to drought conditions. Over half of Mexican cattle imports to the United States are lightweight feeder cattle (less than 400 pounds). Exports of Mexican cattle to the United States have declined in recent years due to a decreased cattle inventory in that country. This chart originally appeared in Cow-Calf Beef Production in Mexico, LDP-M-196-01, November 2010.

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