In this file:
∑ CME: 'China Demand for Beef in World Market Overblown'
∑ Economic Watch: China steps up meat imports to ensure holiday supply
∑ If Trade Rules for US Beef Are Relaxed in US-China Phase One Deal- Erin Borror Sees Mind-Boggling Trade Ahead
CME: 'China Demand for Beef in World Market Overblown'
via The Cattle Site - 07 January 2020
US - For todayís issue we decided to focus on an email we received from a reader who took issue with some of our past reports on the import trade, writes Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.
The gist of the argument was that all talk of China demand for beef in the world market was overblown; that US imports were not impacted as much people (including us) said; and that all this had created a panic in the market, resulting in dramatically higher prices followed by a price crash.
Now hindsight is great and knowing what I know now I surely would have made some better choices in life. But best one can do is make sure to take off whatever color glasses are on and see things for what they are. And if lucky, one learns a lesson and hopefully remembers it the next time around.
Back to the issue of imports. First, we have no illusions that an article or two on the state of import trade will cause fast food buyers to panic. These are experienced people that have been around the block a few times.
We all remember 2008 and we all remember 2015, years with dramatic price swings. Heck, in 2017 the price of 50CL beef trim, which now is priced under 60 cents, jumped over $2/cwt only to be worth half that a few weeks later. But more importantly, the panic over China demand was not something that was somehow manufactured in the US and affected only the US market.
The following chart shows the price of finished cattle in Brazil, both in US dollar terms and in Brazilian Real terms. Cattle prices in Brazil at the end of November were the equivalent of US$165/cwt (US$55/15kg), some 40 percent higher than what they were in early October...
more, including chart, tables 
Economic Watch: China steps up meat imports to ensure holiday supply
Source: Xinhua(China)| Editor: xuxin
BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- As the Chinese Lunar New Year draws near, global meat producers are rushing to meet the surging demand for protein on Chinese dining tables.
China's meat imports have seen a significant rise in the past year as the government lifted bans to fill a gap in domestic supply.
The country began to import meat products from 16 more countries in 2019, with imported meat hitting 5.49 million tonnes in the first 11 months, climbing 42 percent year on year, customs data showed.
In November alone, the country imported 644,000 tonnes of meat, surging 82 percent year on year, while pork imports increased 151.2 percent year on year to stand at 230,000 tonnes.
Hit by outbreaks of African swine fever, China's pig herd shrank notably in the past year, pushing up prices of pork and its alternatives.
As the staple meat is key to many traditional dishes for the Lunar New Year, the country has announced various measures including boosting imports to ensure holiday supply.
The country's pork-related imports were expected to top 3 million tonnes in 2019, while meat imports were estimated to exceed 6 million tonnes, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
The increase in imports, coupled with pork reserves to be released and a recovery in domestic hog production, will help meet demand in the coming Chinese New Year, said Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Yu Kangzhen Wednesday.
Among the incentives to encourage meat imports...
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 itís been quite a shift into China. The U.S currently accounts for less than 1% of China's imports.
"So itís 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.]