How Coronavirus Increased Chinese Demand for Mexican Beef


By Amy Santiago, Latin Post 

Feb 12, 2020


Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, Mexico's top cattle association forecasted the increase of China's demand for Mexican steaks and other cuts of beef to more than 40 percent this year, according to an article by Reuters.


Among Mexico's beef importers, China represents only about four percent, but the Asian market in general has been a steady source of growth. In the past, most shipments just went to Hong Kong and the majority of Mexico's export, more than 80 percent, went to U.S. customers.


Along with the spread of coronavirus comes the concerns about the safety of the domestic food in China. The city of Wuhan is where the virus originated last year, particularly in a food market that was selling illegal wildlife in the capital of the Hubei province. Hubei is one of China's main food-producing hubs.


As authorities locked down the province in an effort to contain the epidemic, travel restrictions have controlled the movement of animals and feed, and reduced feed mills and slaughterhouses' output.


Rogelio Perez, head of AMEG which is Mexico's top cattle growers association, said China's domestic beef producers have been badly affected by the disruption caused by the flu-like coronavirus.


He added, China's demand would benefit SuKarne and Grupo Gusi, the two Mexican companies that have permits to export to China.  In line with the growing demand, forty-two other Mexican cattle companies have applied and are awaiting approvals.


"It's a benefit for Mexico in the sense that this allows us to grow our exports faster," said Perez.


Aside from the deadly virus that affects human beings, the African swine fever has also prompted more consumers to eat more beef due to the reduced pork supplies causing prices to spike.


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China by far is the world's top beef importer in 2020, with projected record of 2.9 million tonnes which is nearly double 2018's total.


Last week, Brazilian meat companies also forecasted...


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