Audio: Market Access Gains, Recovery of Foodservice Sector Provide Momentum for U.S. Beef in China

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U.S. beef exports will benefit as China’s foodservice sector continues to rebound from COVID-19 restrictions imposed earlier this year, says Hong Kong-based Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for the Asia Pacific.

Beef exports to China in the first half of 2020 were up 80% from a year ago in both volume (6,912 metric tons) and value ($54.1 million), and Haggard notes that the most recent USDA weekly export sales report (for the week ending Aug. 6), was the largest ever for China at 1,930 metric tons. He explains that the red meat trade provisions of the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, which were implemented in late March, extended eligibility for China to a larger share of the U.S. cattle herd. Haggard adds that a temporary tariff exclusion system and tight supplies of Australian beef have also made U.S. beef cuts more price-competitive in China.

Haggard says some U.S. beef processors remain cautious about entering the Chinese market, but he welcomes more participation as importers, distributors and other prospective buyers are showing heightened interest in U.S. beef.

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider.