One year has passed since the red meat trade provisions of the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement entered into force, expanding access for U.S. beef and pork in the world’s largest red meat import market.
Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, says the deal has been beneficial to U.S. beef and pork producers.
“For red meat, the U.S. really enjoyed a banner first year of trade with China under Phase One with the value of combined U.S. beef and pork exports rising from just below $1.4 billion in 2019 to $2.5 billion last year.”
For beef, Haggard says that momentum is continuing this year.
“The U.S. has been exporting somewhere around 2,000 tons of beef a week to China and if this pace continues it will be one of our top 5 markets this year. So, overall, Phase One has been beneficial to US beef and pork producers. No doubt about it.”
African Swine Fever in China was already a driving force for pork demand last year after China’s hog herd was decimated.
“So, in short, large exports to China were in the cards for us anyway last year. Certainly though, Phase One did provide a calming effect to what bad been a turbulent few years of trade tensions between the US and China.”
In 2020, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to China were record-large at nearly 1 million metric tons, valued at $2.28 billion. U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports to China were just under 43,000 metric tons, also a new record and up more than 300% from 2019. Beef export value was $310.2 million, a year-over-year increase of 260%.