The pace of talks to resume U.S. beef exports to China appears to be picking up. Final details are expected to be in place by early next month. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it’s great news for American farmers who will be able to pursue business in China that’s been lost by rival beef producer, Brazil.
As a part of the final details of the hoped-for agreement, U.S. beef producers will stop the use of growth-promoting hormones in cattle specifically destined for the Chinese beef market. U.S. producers will also log the movements of those cattle to be marketed in China.
The two sides are negotiating ahead of a deadline for shipments to start by the middle of July. If they’re able to finalize the deal by early June, that should give packing companies like Cargill and Tyson Foods the opportunity to sign contracts by the mid-July deadline.
The timing of the new deal will allow American producers to benefit as rival Brazil is rocked by a scandal in their beef sector and Australia is in the middle of a drought that’s negatively affected the country’s beef production numbers.
“This is a very opportune time for the American beef industry to step up,” says Darrel Peele, an Ag Economist at Oklahoma State University.