A new agreement between China and Australia means the number of processors allowed to send chilled, or refrigerated and cryovaced beef cuts to China will more than triple.
Specifically, the number of meat processors permitted to export chilled beef to China will increase from 10 to 36, with another 15 expected to have pending approvals fast-tracked. Currently, Australia is the only country in the world with this market access.
According to David Foote, managing director of Australian Country Choice, the agreement is good news for the industry after Australia’s rights for chilled beef exports to China were restricted in August 2013.
In 2013, chilled beef accounted for 18 per cent of total beef exports to China, said Foote. Since the restrictions however, it has accounted for only 7 per cent.
Global mining and agricultural entrepreneur Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest also praised the new agreement.
“Now that we can export chilled beef to China, it means Australia can really compete as a food supplier, as opposed to just a live animal supplier,” he told Fairfax Media.
It is expected that the announcement will not lead to an immediate spike in imports due to record low numbers of Australian cattle, however it is expected to create opportunities for producers once cattle numbers recover over the next few years.