The U.S. says China has agreed to reopen its market to U.S. beef by mid-July. This would be a huge win for the U.S. beef industry and the broader feed industry. The opening stems from a 100-day plan on trade, President Trump and China’s President initiated during a recent U.S. visit.
China’s population is massive, with a growing middle class, but inaccessible since the U.S. BSE outbreak in 2003. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Kent Bacus is excited at the prospects after being locked out the last 13 years.
“When you look at the overall population in China it represents a fifth of the world’s population with a middle class that’s bigger than the entire U.S. population,” he said. “These people want meat and we want beef to part of those options, and quite frankly, considering the buying power that China represents, this could be a very significant development for U.S. beef sales. That’s exactly what we need with cattle prices as volatile as they’ve been lately.”
If all goes according to plan U.S. beef should be heading to China before mid-July.
“We do know that there’s going to be one more round of technical consultations between the U.S. and China, and after that China is to allow imports of U.S. beef based on the conditions of that protocol. We should see that no later than July 16th, 2017. So, obviously we’re going to watch this very closely as it develops over the next couple of weeks, and hopefully we’ll be sending beef to China very soon.”
American Farm Bureau Federation trade adviser Dave Salmonsen says the Commerce Department has also announced a concession to China.
“It says the U.S. and China are going to resolve the outstanding issues for the import of Chinese origin cooked poultry to the U.S. Again this is a Chinese product that would be imported into the U.S., and that the U.S. should publish a proposed rule by July 16th.”
Bacus from NCBA says the entire production chain will benefit, as will the U.S. trade deficit, as the U.S. will now be able to compete in China’s beef market with major players like Australia and New Zealand.
The National Chicken Council says the announcement that U.S. beef exports will return to China is also a positive step towards resuming chicken exports to China. U.S. chicken has been blocked by China since January 2015, when the country issued a blanket ban on all U.S. poultry over issues related to avian influenza. In a news release, NCC President Mike Brown encouraged the administration to “continue their work to remove China’s obstacles preventing U.S. broiler access to their marketplace.” Poultry exports to China peaked in 2008, with an export value of $722 million. The trade deal announced by the White House will also allow Chinese companies to export cooked poultry products to the United States.
Sources: NCBA and NAFB News