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Red meat exports to China to tip $1 billion per annum

The National Farmers’ Federation says Australia’s red meat exports to China could soon exceed $1 billion per annum following the Government’s ‘joint statement’ with China this week.

The Joint Statement on Enhancing Inspection and Cooperation coincides with a visit to Australia by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Announced at Parliament House, Canberra by Premier Li Keqiang and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, the Joint Statement will unlock a number of trade restrictions currently in place to support Australian meat and livestock exports, including:

  • expanding the chilled meat trade and expediting the listing of 15 additional establishments eligible to export meat to China;
  • advancing Australia's access for tripe exports to China and initiating trade in donkey meat and edible skins to China; and
  • promoting a protocol for the export of Australian slaughter sheep and goats.

NFF President Fiona Simson said the measures would unlock significant opportunities for Australia’s livestock producers

“Today’s announcement is exactly the kind of action we have been seeking and working towards with the Government. 

“China is Australia’s largest sheep meat market, worth $240 million in 2016, and is the nation’s fourth largest beef market worth $670 million in the same year.

“It is now a reality that Australia’s red meat exports to China could soon reach more than $1 billion a year. This is particularly welcome news for NFF member organisations - the Cattle Council of Australia, Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Goat Industry Council of Australia and the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council."

Today’s announcement enables Australian livestock producers to continue to satisfy China’s growing demand for high-quality red meat
Fiona Simson, NFF President

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the Joint Statement will expand and improve Australia's meat market access by allowing more meat and live animal exporters access to China and progressing new trade opportunities.

"The Coalition is committed to building on our record prices and record volume of trade with China. We won't ever rest on our laurels in pursuit of expanding Australia's trading partnerships.

"China is already Australia's largest sheep meat market, worth $240 million in 2016, and is our fourth largest beef market worth $670 million in the same year

"Industry has estimated that the trade this Joint Statement will facilitate could be worth in excess of $400 million per year to our meat industry, which could lead to significantly improved farmgate returns across the nation", Minister Joyce said.

Ms Simson said there would also be highly-valuable lasting benefits to the food processing sector and regional communities in general.

“The NFF applauds the Government on its continued pursuit of preferential trade arrangements with key export markets such as China.”

“As the peak representative body of Australian agriculture, a key priority of the NFF is to continue to advocate to ensure our premium, clean and safe food and fibre products are in demand and able to access valuable international markets.”

"Today’s announcement enables Australian livestock producers to continue to satisfy China’s growing demand for high-quality red meat.

“Importantly it furthers the enviable trade relationship between Australia and China,” Ms Simson said.

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