U.S. beef does not sell well in Beijing one month after it entered the Chinese market for the first time in 14 years, Securities Daily reported. A salesperson at a Beijing store told the paper that imported U.S. beef is expensive and looks darker than other beef, so buyers are more interested in buying fresh meat at competitive prices…Full Article: ECNS.cn Aug 2017

Key Point

  • Wumart Stores were selling US beef for CNY 106 to CNY 316 [~USD 16.00 to USD 47.60] per kg.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In July 2017, the head of the China Cattle Industry Association noted that less than 10% of US beef production meets the June 20, 2017 import guidelines set by the AQSIQ.
  • In late June 2017, Nebraskan beef suppliers began shipments to Shanghai. Nebraska’s Greater Omaha Packing (founded 1920) was among the first US beef processors to receive export approval to mainland China. It will be the first time in 14 years that the company has supplied the Chinese market. Once in China, COFCO Group’s e-commerce platform, Womai, sold US beef at CNY 38 (USD 5.60) per 180 grams, which was 50% more than similar cuts of Australian beef. The beef was limited to only to residents of Beijing. In Shanghai, Alibaba’s Yiguo.com e-commerce platform was selling US beef (sirloin, rib-eye, etc.). During the same month, Iowa Premium Beef was working to export beef to mainland China.
  • On 20 June 2017, China’s AQSIQ granted import approval to US beef. Shortly thereafter, COFCO’s e-commerce platform, Womai, sold 1,423 packages of US rib steaks in three days.
  • In October 2016, Wumart’s bidding partner, the California-based private equity firm TPG Capital, exited the bidding process for McDonald’s China. The remaining bidders included Bain Capital and Green-Tree Hospitality (partners), Carlyle Group and CITIC Group Corp. (partners), Wumart Stores Inc. (former partner of TPG Capital), and Beijing Sanyuan Group (see  Beijing Capital Agribusiness Group).
  • In October 2015, Wumart announced it would be delisting its shares from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • As of June 2015, Wumart had 586 stores, of which 180 were superstores (e.g. hypermarkets) and 406 were minimarts. Wumart reportedly has a 35% market share in Beijing.
  • In December 2013, Wumart had 547 stores (e.g. 155 superstores and 392 minimarts), an increase from 529 stores in 2012.
  • From June 2012 to June 2013, the number of Wumart retail outlets grew from 529 to 541 (145 superstores and 396 mini marts).
  • Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Beijing, Wumart is one of China’s leading retail chains. Their outlets are primarily located in the northern provinces of Beijing, Zhejiang, Tianjin and Hebei.

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