Henry Davis with Greater Omaha Packing Company, Nebraska Department of Ag Director Greg Ibach and Governor Pete Ricketts with boxes of beef destined to China. The three men helped load the first shipment on June 14.
Henry Davis with Greater Omaha Packing Company, Nebraska Department of Ag Director Greg Ibach and Governor Pete Ricketts with boxes of beef destined to China. The three men helped load the first shipment on June 14.

 

From News Reports

Nebraska sent its first shipment of beef to China under an agreement that allowed the U.S. to resume exports after a 14-year hiatus.

The first boxes from Greater Omaha Packing went out Wednesday, June 14. Gov. Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach helped load the first boxes.

China cut off exports in 2003 after BSE affected some American cattle herds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced earlier last week that it had finalized an agreement with China to restart exports.

Ricketts says Nebraska is the nation’s top beef processor and exporter, and China is the world’s second largest beef exporter. The governor had urged Chinese officials to lift their ban on previous trade missions.

The conditions for shipping U.S. beef to China require the beef products be from cattle less than 30 months of age, have a country of origin label, must be traceable to their first place of U.S. residence or port of entry and not contain growth promotants, feed additives and other chemical compounds including ractopamine, prohibited by China’s law and regulation.

The requirements put forth by China will cost the U.S. something in implementation say experts but many in the industry are hoping China’s demand offsets the investment. And already China has shown excitement about U.S. beef shipments.

“We have ordered 56 to 58 tons of whole carcasses, which are expected to arrive by the end of July,” said Chen Fugang, owner of Aoyang International, a Shanghai-based trading company in a Reuters interview. Chen said he expects the product to be a hit in the Chinese market, where total beef sales grew around 4 percent last year to reach 5.9 million tons.