Chinese ban on US beef benefits Australia's red meat exports to China


Australia's red meat industry has benefited from China's ban on US beef imports by registering record amounts of beef and goat meat sold to the mainland in August, according to media reports.

China imported 19 per cent of Australia's total red meat shipments, compared with four per cent in August 2012. Beef shipments totaled 16,192 metric tonnes including the product and packaging.

Grain-fed beef sales to China totaled 2,259 tonnes, exceeding 2,000 tonnes for the first time. That export number is especially significant because US export beef is grain-fed, in contrast to Australian beef, which is normally grass-fed.

US beef producers have been locked out of China, the world's largest consumer market, since December 2003, when a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy was discovered in a cow in Washington state.

The US industry has been pushing US officials for market access, and the ban on US beef has become a point of contention in US-China trade relations.

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