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China’s Announcement an Important First Step Toward Resuming Beef Trade

On Sept. 22, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine announced that China’s ban on imports of U.S. beef – which has been in place since December 2003 – has been lifted. USMEF issued the following media statement:

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine have announced that China’s ban on imports of U.S. beef has been lifted. While this is an important first step in the process of resuming beef exports to China, USMEF understands that China must still negotiate with USDA the conditions that will apply to U.S. beef exports entering this market. USMEF looks forward to learning more details about the remaining steps necessary for the market to officially open and for U.S. suppliers to begin shipping product.

— Philip M. Seng, president and CEO, U.S. Meat Export Federation

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also issued this news release.

China is the world’s fastest growing beef import market, with beef/beef variety imports in 2015 totaling 494,947 metric tons (mt) valued at $2.39 billion. Through July, China’s 2016 imports are 48 percent ahead of last year’s pace in volume and up 37 percent in value. China’s largest suppliers are Brazil, Uruguay, Australia and New Zealand. Argentina and Canada also export significant volumes of beef to China. In the same announcement that lifted the ban on U.S. beef, Chinese officials announced that imports from Canada will be expanded to include both bone-in and boneless cuts from cattle less than 30 months of age.