“Huge amounts” of American beef are bypassing China’s import bans, a top US trade official said this week, even as the Chinese government cracks down on agricultural smuggling. The meat enters through Hong Kong, Deputy US Trade Representative Robert Holleyman said at the National Lieutenant Governors Association conference on Wednesday [18 March 2015]. US beef is currently barred from Chinese mainland because of previous cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. US trade officials have been trying to get China to lift the ban, but with little success…Full Article: China Daily Mar 2015

Key Points

  • In 2014, Hong Kong imported 154,500 tons of American beef and beef products, a ~19% increase from 2013.
  • McDonald’s noted that they source approximately 50% of their beef from domestic Chinese producers, while the other half are imported from New Zealand, Australia, and Uruguay.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In February 2015, China arrested 33 individuals who were illegally smuggling beef (~6,000 MTs) from the US into China. Anti-smuggling authorities based in Dalian, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou participated the nationwide crackdown.
  • On 11 February 2015, China’s AQSIQ formally lifted the ban on Irish beef, allowing Ireland to export deboned beef from animals under the age of 30 months.
  • In 2012, mainland China banned Brazilian beef imports due to a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or ‘mad cow’) in Paraná state (southern Brazil).
  • In 2003, China banned US beef after a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), aka mad cow disease, was detected in Washington state.

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