Following one more round of consultations between the United States and China, China will allow imports of U.S. beef by July 16, 2017.
This, following a meeting of President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping, where the two countries have agreed to cooperate, work together, and advance a 100-day plan of action.
The market stands to have big implications for U.S. grain and livestock farmers. The exact implications are hard to forecast as a few negotiations remain, but certainly, the announcement will support prices farmers are seeing here in the U.S.
U.S. beef had already experienced a very strong quarter, up 15 percent in volume and 19 percent in value according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. March exports alone accounted for 12.5 percent of total beef production and just under 10 percent for muscle cuts only, each up slightly from last year.
“Entering 2017 with record-large pork production and an uptick in beef slaughter, we knew this ‘wall of U.S. meat’ presented a challenge for our industry,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. “So the fact that first-quarter export volumes are higher than a year ago is not surprising, but it’s important to look beyond that – to the higher percentage of production being exported and the strong return on those exports. The U.S. is not just moving more meat internationally because we have more available. Our products are commanding solid prices and winning back market share in many key destinations, even with a strong U.S. dollar and many trade barriers still in place. But our competitors are working every day to reverse this trend, so we must aggressively expand and defend our international customer base.”
U.S. beef has been out of the Chinese market for the last 13 years. We welcome the opportunity to again compete in the Chinese marketplace, knowing that U.S. beef is a strong competitor and that there is only gain in store for U.S. corn and livestock farmers.