In this file:


·         Devil’s in the detail of China-U.S. beef deal

·         Cattle Group Talking Trade And Traceability At Summer Meeting



Devil’s in the detail of China-U.S. beef deal


By Steve Kay, Canadian Cattlemen

July 13, 2017


Kay is publisher and editor of Cattle Buyers Weekly


The announcement on May 4 that China will start accepting U.S. beef on or before July 16 had U.S. industry leaders applauding the Trump administration and excited about supplying this giant market. Their enthusiasm was understandable — U.S. beef has been shut out of China since late 2003, when the U.S. reported its first BSE case. But as the Canadian industry knows all too well, the devil is in the detail.


The announcement gave no hint of what China’s requirements for U.S. beef will be. The two countries have one more round of technical consultations planned and China’s requirements might emerge after that. Only then will the U.S. industry be able to gauge how much of the beef it produces is even eligible to be exported to China.


The key issues will be growth promotants, ractopamine and traceability. China requires other countries that supply beef to it to verify that only naturally occurring implants are used, that the beef is ractopamine-free and traceability from a calf’s birth to the beef box. As Canadian producers know, China bans beef produced with synthetic hormone growth promotants and beta-agonists. These are the requirements for beef imported from Australia and other countries as well. U.S. cattle feeders still widely use Optaflexx (ractopamine hydrochloride) in finishing cattle. China does not allow U.S. pork produced with ractopamine so it’s inconceivable it will make an exception for beef.


China has a long-standing policy against synthetic implants (essentially trenbolone acetate). It’s instructive to see what occurred when it imposed its rule on Australian beef in May 2014. Naturally occurring hormone implants based on estrogen were deemed acceptable. But the Australian industry and authorities were worried about producers’ inability to make distinctions between the two. So they voluntarily banned the use of all implants on cattle targeted for China.


A Chinese notice to the trade at the time said “any detection of a synthetic hormone, or a detection of a naturally occurring hormone at levels higher that the normal physiological levels will result in rejection of the consignment and possible delistment of the plant.” Product is tested at the port of entry and exporters run significant financial risk. So the U.S. industry might take the same approach as Australia did.


Another hurdle for the U.S. is China’s traceability requirements...





Cattle Group Talking Trade And Traceability At Summer Meeting


Radio 570 WNAX (SD)

Jul 14, 2017


National Cattlemen Beef Association members are in Denver this week attending their mid year conference. NCBA President Craig Uden says they have several issues they’re debating including traceability and contracts and sustainability.


He says one of their primary topics centers around trade and the need to retain and expand those agreements to move their product.


Uden says one priority must be to get a bilateral trade agreement in place to regain market share with Japan after they signed a deal with the European Union...