Chinese beef demand to grow, according to USDA

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Sep 13, 2004
by WLJ
China's consumption of beef is forecast to continue climbing due to strong growth in per capita income, according to USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
Since December 25, 2003, China has banned imported U.S. cattle and beef due to a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S. It still remains uncertain when China will lift the bans. During 2004, USDA provided Chinese officials with information about the U.S. mitigation measures on BSE, and a Chinese BSE technical team visited the United States during September 2004. China is reviewing this information as part of its own risk assessment process.
If China's BSE concerns on U.S. bovine products were alleviated, the Chinese Government would then revise its domestic law, a lengthy procedure involving the Ministry of Agriculture, the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the Ministry of Health, the State Food and Drug Administration, and ultimately the State Council.
FAS Beijing forecasts that bovine serum, embryos, and protein-free tallow-products deemed as non-risk under the OIE guidelines-will be the first products permitted entry. Live cattle imports during 2005 are forecast to increase sharply from 55,000 head to 60,000 head, an increase of 50 percent driven by the continued prosperous dairy sector. Australia and New Zealand are the dominant suppliers.
China's beef production for 2005 is forecast at 7.1 million metric tons, a six percent increase from this year due to continued strong beef demand and rising incomes. Live cattle imports for 2005 are forecast to increase 50 percent from 100,000 to 150,000 head driven by China's surging dairy industry and the need for better genetics by both the dairy and beef cattle sectors.
Beef imports in 2005 are forecast at only 15,000 metric tons, a significant decline from the previous high of 27,000 metric tons in 2003, due to China's continued ban on U.S. and Canadian beef coupled with higher international beef prices. China's beef exports are forecast to increase from 40,000-45,000 metric tons because of increased demand in Hong Kong. — Combined Reports