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Australia signs deal to export live cattle for slaughter in China

On Monday Australia announced it has agreed to be the first country to export live cattle for slaughter to China, with projected sales of AUS$1.5 billion annually over the next decade.

The agreement was preliminarily agreed last year, but had been suspended because of Chinese concerns about the potential risk of the blue tongue virus being passed onto its sheep.

After months of negotiations, the rules for minimizing risk were established, said the Minister of Agriculture of Australia, Barnaby Joyce.

He told Reuters that the agreement should allow initial exports of 40,000 to 50,000 animals to China.
The agreement should help reduce the shortages of red meat in China, analysts say, and could change the domestic market if there are no restrictions on imports.

"They can use all the parts (of the animal) and not just focus on the local market but also target exports," said Pan Chenjun, a senior analyst at Rabobank.

Information provided by Reuters

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