After 14 years, the U.S. is exporting beef to China again. The two powerful economies agreed to resume the trade last month.
U.S. meat processor Tyson Foods brought the beef exports to China through Cofco Meat Holdings. The China National Radio also confirmed the development on Friday, citing Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
China officially allowed the beef from the U.S. Tuesday this week after the two sides agreed to the terms and conditions for the resumption of trade on beef. Under the new rule, boneless and bone-in beef from cattle under 30 months will be eligible for America’s exports to China. Beef coming from the U.S. and exported to China should also be from cattle that can be traced back to its birth farm.
China needs U.S. beef to meet its increasing demand for premium meat in the $2.6 billion beef import market.
Cofco’s beef will be sold in China on its e-commerce platform Womai.com. The re-entry of American beef to China’s huge market after a long 14-year absence is seen as a threat to the sales of Australian beef in China’s lucrative premium meat market. The U.S. beef is expected to be cheaper compared to Australia’s because of low grain prices in the country. So while Australia has the advantage of being closer to China geographically, the U.S. has the edge of offering more competitive prices for its high-quality beef.
It is not yet clear whether this new favorable deal with China for U.S. beef is connected to the deals arranged by President Donald Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the latter’s U.S. visit months ago, but it is likely the result of improved ties between the two powerful countries.