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·         China’s beef imports soaring as U.S. beef producers await trade deal details

·         If Trade Rules for US Beef Are Relaxed in US-China Phase One Deal- Erin Borror Sees Mind-Boggling Trade Ahead



China’s beef imports soaring as U.S. beef producers await trade deal details

The opportunity in China for U.S. grain-fed beef is enormous.


Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) 

via BEEF Magazine - Jan 07, 2020


In mid-December, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the United States and China reached a “Phase One” trade deal that could significantly improve access for U.S. beef in the world’s largest and fast-growing import market. Details of the agreement are not yet available but are expected to be unveiled in early 2020.


China first emerged as a major beef destination in 2013, when imports increased by nearly 400% and topped $1 billion for the first time. Over the next five years, import growth was phenomenal, reaching $4.9 billion in 2018.


Over the past year, with China’s protein supplies tightening due to African swine fever, its demand for beef reached new heights. Through November, China imported 1.5 million metric tons (mt) of beef valued at $7.3 billion. In November alone, China’s imports were valued at nearly $1 billion, setting another new monthly record.


Through this period of remarkable growth, the U.S. beef industry has been largely relegated to the sidelines. China remained closed to U.S. beef due to BSE-related restrictions until mid-2017.


When the market reopened, conditions included a ban on the use of synthetic growth hormones and ractopamine, restrictions on eligible products and traceability requirements. While this meant only a small percentage of U.S. beef would be China-eligible, the market opening still generated considerable excitement among Chinese buyers and U.S. exporters.


But shortly thereafter, trade tensions between the U.S. and China mounted. In July 2018, China imposed retaliatory duties on U.S. beef, raising the total duty rate from the standard 12% to 37%. Another 10% duty was added in September 2019, making the total rate 47%.


“With the production requirements adding costs and limiting our supply of China-eligible product, U.S. beef was already by far the highest-priced in this market,” says Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) president and CEO. “The retaliatory duties not only widened the price gap, but also created uncertainty and risk for both U.S. producers and Chinese importers.”


Halstrom explains that this is especially disruptive in a market that imposes unique and expensive-to-meet import requirements...


more, including chart



If Trade Rules for US Beef Are Relaxed in US-China Phase One Deal- Erin Borror Sees Mind-Boggling Trade Ahead


Oklahoma Farm Report 

07 Jan 2020


The US and China are a week away from the scheduled signing of the phase one trade deal announced by President Trump back in October of 2019.


According to President Trump, it's going to be huge for U.S. agriculture- perhaps forty billion dollars in sales annually. Erin Borror, Economist for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, says we're still waiting for details about exactly how the phytosanitary standards currently in place for U.S. beef into China may or may not change, "China is the big one that's still out there that we're anxiously awaiting those details. So hopefully, as President Trump tweeted the signing on the 15th, we'll see, but yes, we are on the edge of our chairs. As Ambassador Lighthizer has said, The other barriers, besides just tariffs, are supposedly addressed in this agreement. And there is yes, a long list of those barriers, facing our U.S. Beef. I would note that China imposes these barriers on all of its suppliers and our production system we're not really set up to produce versus South America where they don't use growth hormones anyway. They have traceability requirements because of FMD." Borror adds that while China has traceability requirements and more with most of their suppliers- the question is will some of the rules put in place when the President announced the Chinese market was back open to US Beef in 2018- will those rules be relaxed? Borror adds "So, if we get big changes in the market access conditions, SPS, or sanitary-phyto requirements, then, yes, it could be mind-boggling."


"The Chinese market has been on fire again this year, and imports are massive. They're the biggest importer in the world by far, and those numbers, $7.3, billion worth of beef imported January through November. We will have bought in the U.S. somewhere over $5 billion worth of beef coming into this country, and we used to be the biggest importer in the world. So it’s been quite a shift into China. The U.S currently accounts for less than 1% of China's imports.


"So it’s only upward potential for us, but again we're waiting for those details and including on what the retaliatory tariff situation will look like because that's also not really been forthcoming. Currently, the U.S. Beef pays 47% tariff into China. Australia is 5%, I think, through their free trade agreement. And so our base competitor pays, basically nothing compared to what already very high priced U.S. beef because of the production requirements pays into China."


The USMEF team has been hard at work at building relationships with China, and Borror said...


more, including audio [6:25 min.]