Pork and beef exports to China strengthen

by | Nov 27, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

U.S. beef and pork exports to China received a boost recently. China’s General Administration of Customs approved 18 U.S. beef establishments and 12 U.S. pork establishments for export to China – the first new U.S. plants cleared for export to China in about 10 months. Erin Borror, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) vice president for economic analysis, said the plant approval process was streamlined by the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, which has worked well since it was implemented in early 2020.

“The Phase One Agreement has many benefits for U.S. agriculture, but particularly related to plant approvals,” Borror said. “Since the 2020 implementation of the Phase One Agreement China has further rolled out plant and establishment registration processes that are fairly complex. And fortunately for U.S. beef and pork, Phase One takes precedence. USDA Food Safety Inspection Service plant approvals are still what is recognized by China. And up until about December of last year, that process was working and in place and then this year, in 2023, we hadn’t seen any plant list updates. The good news is China did update the establishment list, and that update included 12 pork establishments and 18 beef establishments, and it was a big sigh of relief that China was still recognizing the Phase One Agreement and updating the list as put forward by FSIS and we still expect to see further updates – hopefully still yet before the end of 2023.”

Borror noted that, while beef shipments to China are down from the record-large volumes of 2022, China is still the fourth largest destination for U.S. beef exports and has strong upside potential.

“There is plenty of pork in the China market and that’s kind of weighing overall. But we still see China helping to support a record year for U.S. pork variety meat exports. Our pork variety meat shipments to China this year are up 9% from last year. Shipments to China of beef so far this year are down 23%, but that still puts them as number four after Korea, Japan, and Mexico – so a huge destination for U.S. beef and again one that can turn quickly.”

For more information, visit usmef.org.