China market for excellent quality U.S.beef – The sky is the limit

import beef to China - The sky is the limit Oct. 3 – Two months ago U.S. beef producers welcomed renewal of exports to China; following up the first seaborne shipment of U.S. beef arrives in Shanghai after 14-year absence on 5 September 2017, finally U.S. beef returns to Chinese dining tables. Now, the important agenda is to develop a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with China. The sky is the limit – import beef to China.

According to a related report that by 2018 China consuming markets predict beef sales will be 3.8 billion U.S. dollars to China alone. It’s a great news for America’s cattle producers to export quality beef to China, and excellent quality beef is what the Chinese consumer wants, it is essential for keeping the deal of American beef exports to China going, stabilizing American beef on China’s menu, and continuing to boost U.S.- China economic cooperation.

Australia is a key supplier of imported beef products to China market according to related statistics indicates. Now US beef is going to follow up, there is increasing demand for imported beef products in China market, but quality is main concern for U.S. beef to China due to the “mad cow disease” happened in the past, the undesirable influence is still in consumers’ mind. Currently, Agri-Product and Foods Department of China Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC) North America, is busier than ever these days inspecting and certifying U.S. beef farms to do business with China, the sky is the limit with quality beef.

Chinese legal import volume of beef in 2016 reached 579,800 tons, increasing by 22.4% Compared to 2015, according to a research emphasize. Currently, out of the nearly 170 billion U.S. dollars in U.S. exports to China in 2016, food, feed, and drinks made up only 20 billion U.S. dollars, that U.S. soybean exports to China currently total 13 billion U.S. dollars, according to the USDA reporting, there are a large numbers of business opportunity for growing in the food and beverages sector. In 2016, China annual consumption of beef per capita was below 7 kilograms, less than the half of the global level. Currently, China demand for imported beef products keep raising due to advancing living standard and bettering nutritional eating pattern, this consumer trends will continue to grow further.

China experts forecast that the demand for beef per capita will significantly rise in the coming ten years, and the beef production in China won’t grow rapidly due to the long period of beef cattle breeding, that will bring about the rapid growth beef import. China already began to import a large amount of beef from Canada, Australia, Brazil etc. moreover; China imports a huge amount of beef sweetbreads every year. Statistically, China has become the net importer of beef since 2012. The net import volume of that year reached 49,000 tons, and the import volume kept rising annually, according to a related report.

However, there is a major concern over beef products import to China that is something to do with distribution and cold chain Infrastructure challenges – perishable logistics in China major cities and airports. Total cold chain logistics penetration in China was estimated in 2014 to be roughly only 19%, compared to 85–90% in countries such as Japan and the United States. Deficiencies in cold chain transportation, storage, packing, and preservation methods lead to large product losses; it is estimated that perishable incurred a 20–30% loss rate in 2014. Despite rapid sectorial growth, China’s fleet of refrigerated trucks totaled only 50,000 in 2015, with a Rabobank report estimating that $85 billion in investment is needed over the next 10 years in order for China’s cold chain sector to improve both in terms of quality and capacity.

Beef product is very perishable and it poses a big impediment to ship to China, or by sea, or by air, either way, there is an urgent need for updated perishable facilities in logistic infrastructure in China, especially cool-chain infrastructure at Chinese airports. China’s vastness compounds existing problems. Cold chain infrastructure outside of China’s major cities and import hubs remains underdeveloped where most of China’s advanced cold chain transportation is located. Due to their close proximity to import ports and relatively developed cold chain infrastructure, delivery times in and around Tier I cities are short, allowing distribution to be satisfactorily conducted via air-conditioned trucks outfitted with ice bags and packs (instead of refrigeration units) to save on costs. Despite recent logistical and technological improvements, long-haul refrigerated trucks servicing Tier II, III, and IV cities continue to suffer from inconsistencies in distribution quality as well as temperature management. There also exists a lack of clear and concise regulations and enforcement in cold chain logistics, which when coupled with the absence of standardized health and safety regulations regarding temperature and handling requirements of perishable, lead to decreases in product quality and increased consumer distrust. For China Perishable Logistics Report – Cold Chain Infrastructure in Major Cities and the List of Chinese Importers for Beef Products are available upon request, please contact with DCCC or email to: info@dcchcina.org

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