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      Posted by Marie Ristic on in Meat Processing
      how much beef does australia export to china

      How To Export Beef To China As Bans Lift

      In December 2023, bans were lifted for three Australian abattoirs, with five more meat export processors receiving export approval, reinstated in May 2024. 

      Despite the bans, Australian beef exports to China were worth $2.5 billion in 2023, up from $2.1 billion in 2022. 

      China is Australia’s second-largest importer of beef and the largest importer of lamb and mutton. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s red meat trade with China was worth around $3 billion. Since May 2020 China has imposed bans on ten of Australia’s major beef exporters, citing labelling and health certification requirements as the reason for the ban. 

      AMIC focuses on opportunities for red meat in China

      The press release from the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) on 30 May 2024 stated that with the recent success in having the bans lifted, the focus would shift to lifting bans on the remaining two suspended exporters, and on restarting opportunities for red meat businesses in China who have been waiting for access to this market. 

      China’s beef export market opportunity

      China has the third biggest cattle population in the world, but its domestic herd has been declining for several years, even as beef consumption grows. 

      China is the world’s second-largest consumer of beef in absolute terms, with per capita consumption projected to increase a further 8% by 2030, building on a 35% rise in the decade from 2011 to 2021. In 2022 more than 90 thousand metric tons of frozen Australian grass-fed beef was imported to Greater China, along with nearly 10 thousand metric tonnes of chilled grass-fed beef and 24 thousand metric tons of chilled grain-fed beef. 

      The OECD forecasts that by 2032 China will have an estimated deficit of around four million tonnes of beef per year. 

      How to export beef to China

      Exporters of meat and meat products must first be verified by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Trade before they can seek registration for China export approval. 

      Once this verification is in place, abattoirs exporting beef to China are required to register in the China Import Food Enterprise Registration (CIFER) system before exporting. 

      Find meat processing equipment for abattoirs at FPE

      Meat processing for export means meeting high standards for quality and ensuring the meat is prepared for transport. To capitalise on export opportunities, abattoirs must find efficiency with meat processing equipment that ensures high yield and high-quality output. 

      FPE supplies meat processing equipment to Australia and New Zealand, including captive bolt stunners, skinning and dehairing machines, paunch cleaning equipment and X-ray inspection systems

      To enquire about our meat processing equipment, whether your business is looking to produce halal meat, enter new markets or simply find efficiency in how you currently operate, our expert team can advise you on equipment that will take your operation to the next level. 

      Frequently asked questions

      Where does China import beef from?

      China imports beef from Australia and New Zealand, with key competitor countries including Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Canada and the United States.

      What tariffs does China impose on beef imports?

      Under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) chilled and frozen beef and carcasses are zero from 1 January 2024, catching up with New Zealand which has had zero tariffs on exported beef to China since 2016 (see MLA Market Snapshot).

      What limits the beef export to China market?

      The volume of beef exported to China by Australia is limited by volume restrictions agreed under ChAFTA. Technical access due to restrictions on the number of approved plants, chilled plants and restrictions on the import of edible offal also limit beef exports from Australia and New Zealand. 

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