China could be poised to drop 13 year ban on US beef

US beef trade could be one step closer to resuming with China.

According to the Financial Times, trade talks this weekend resulted in China offering to resume imports of US beef and better market access for financial sector investments.

This is the second time in less than a year China has agreed to grant market access to US beef, but regulatory hurdles have remained in place that would prevent trade from materializing.

China’s imports of beef have increased exponentially in recent years and US beef producers haven’t been able to capitalize on its growth.

University of Missouri livestock economist Scott Brown says access to that market would be a big win for US beef producers.  “In 2012 they (China) imported 86,000 metric tons of beef,” he says.  “For 2016, the USDA currently estimates imports of approximately 825,000 metric tons.  So just a small 10-fold increase over the last 10 years, I say jokingly.  It has been a strong market.  And in the US when you look at our exports over that same period of time – they’ve basically been flat at about 1.1 million metric tons.”

The ban on US beef in China has been in place since the BSE scare in 2003.

The US Meat Export Federation says they do not have enough information to comment on the developments at this time.

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