The U.S. beef industry was understandably excited when China agreed to resume importing product from the U.S. An Ag Web Dot Com article notes that supplies eligible for exports remain few and far between. Derrell Peel, an Ag Economist at Oklahoma State University, says it’s a long-term project to build up beef export numbers to China. “There are some restrictions in place that limit the available supply in the short run,” Peel says, “but we now have access and we know the details so the beef market can start to work.” He says it will take some time but American beef producers will figure out what the restrictions are and how they work. American beef imports have to meet several qualifications, including coming from American born, raised, and slaughtered cattle with traceability going all the way back to birth. It must also come from cattle less than 30 months of age and raised with no growth promoters, feed additives, or chemical compounds. China will test all beef imports at the port of entry. Only a small percentage of American beef meets those specs, so American Farm Bureau Economist Katelyn McCullock said product would have to be raised at the cow/calf level to meet those specifications.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.