China has agreed once more to allow U.S. beef exports to that country, ending a ban in effect since 2003. The deal was struck over the weekend between President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping, according to the Financial Times.
The opportunity for U.S. beef exporters could be significant. Global AgriTrends calculates the greater China region (China, Hong Kong, Vietnam) as a $7 billion market, according to Stephens Inc. analyst Farha Aslam.
In a note to investors, Aslam cautioned, however, that China has twice before agreed to grant market access to U.S. beef but regulatory hurdles have prevented any real trade to materialize.
U.S. beef industry stakeholders applauded a similar announcement last September that China would end the 13-year ban on U.S. beef, originating upon the first discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Last September, the U.S. Meat Export Federation also had cautioned that while it was a good first step, USDA and its Chinese counterparts still had to negotiate conditions for U.S. beef to enter that market.