Boost in US meat trade with China following new approvals

Nov 28, 2023

By Jean-Paul McDonald

In a landmark move for the U.S. meat industry, China has approved 18 beef and 12 pork establishments from the U.S. for export. This long-awaited decision is a result of the streamlined process established by the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, which has been in effect since early 2020. The recent approvals end a 10-month hiatus, providing a major boost to the U.S. meat export sector. 

The agreement between the U.S. and China has greatly facilitated the registration and approval processes for meat establishments. This development reflects the ongoing commitment to the Phase One Agreement, under which the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service's approvals are recognized by China. Despite a pause in updates earlier this year, this new round of approvals has reignited optimism for future growth and collaboration. 

China remains a key market for U.S. meat exports. Although beef shipments to China have seen a decrease compared to the record levels of 2022, China is still the fourth largest importer of U.S. beef. The outlook for this market segment remains promising.  

Even though muscle cut shipments are experiencing a downtrend on the pork front, China continues to be the prime market for U.S. pork variety meat exports, with a notable increase in exports this year. 

The recent plant approvals have significant implications for the U.S. meat industry. They not only demonstrate the resilience and potential of the U.S. as a leading meat exporter but also highlight the critical role of international trade agreements in shaping the dynamics of global markets.  

With these new developments, the U.S. meat industry is poised to strengthen its position in the global arena, particularly in the lucrative Chinese market. 

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