Clements: The agreement to allow U.S. beef exports into China gives U.S. agriculture access to one of the fastest growing beef markets in the world. AFBF economist Katelyn McCullock says China has developed a strong appetite for beef, creating market potential for U.S. ranchers.
McCullock: We’ve seen imports of beef rise in China from in 2003, the last time the U.S. was in that market, about $70 million, to over $2.5 billion worth of beef imported last year to China. And so the market potential is such that this could be a very big deal for beef producers.
Clements: McCullock says the market has changed since the U.S. last exported beef to China, and that may provide a higher export value potential for U.S. farmers and ranchers.
McCullock: They used to import a lot more variety meats and we’ve really seen that change over to much heavier demand in muscle meats. Muscle meats tend to be of higher value, and so there’s potential there to have not just more exports, but also higher value exports.
Clements: While the announcement will offer a chance to increase demand for U.S. beef, McCullock cautions that developing the market will take time.
McCullock: The announcement was another step forward, but there are still a few things that need to happen before we end up shipping that first shipment. And, there are also some production changes that might need to occur if producers want to participate in this market.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.
Communications Assistant, AFBF