US BEEF EXPORT LOSS IS AUSTRALIA’S GAIN

The Australian red meat industry sold record amounts of beef and goat meat to China in August. China imported 19 percent of Australia’s total red meat shipments, compared with 4 percent in August 2012.


Beef shipments totaled 16,192 metric tons including the product and packaging. Grain-fed beef sales to China totaled 2,259 tons, exceeding 2,000 metric tons for the first time. That export number is especially significant because U.S. export beef is grain-fed, in contrast to Australian beef, which is normally grass-fed.


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

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