China Cabinet demands increase in beef and lamb imports

By Elsa Reed, in Shenzhen, and Kitty So

- Last updated on GMT

The country will increase imports of beef and lamb, according to a Chinese government communiqué
The country will increase imports of beef and lamb, according to a Chinese government communiqué

Related tags: Pig, Beef, Lamb, Pork

China’s cabinet, the State Council, has announced the country will increase imports of beef and lamb, according to a Chinese government communiqué. It follows a meeting between ministers on 29 September (last Monday). “[China] will reasonably increase imports of beef and lamb,” said the statement. 

China’s high tariffs for both beef and lamb have resulted in smuggling and food safety concerns – especially for beef, as the demand for beef continues to grow, China-based meat industry experts told GlobalMeatNews​.

Led by Premier Li Keqiang, the council meeting discussed how to “determine the import policy measures to strengthen and promote the further opening [of trade]”​, according to the communiqué, and with ministers focusing on current supply shortages. The meeting noted that import promotion strategies needed to “strengthen technology, products and services imports… meet the demand of domestic production and consumption, improve product quality, and promote entrepreneurship and innovation”.

No details on the extent to which lamb and beef import quotas would be expanded were released and details on increased import quotas and a timetable for their introduction will be revealed later.

China’s ministry of commerce (MOFCOM), China’s general administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine (AQSIQ) and China’s ministry of agriculture (MOA) are the government agencies expected to announce further details.

Meanwhile, AQSIQ has banned pigs and pigmeat products from Estonia over concerns about its outbreaks of African swine fever, following the discovery of cases last month (September).

China has blocked imports of Estonian pigs, wild pigs and related products, according to a 26 September notice from AQSIQ, which noted a case involving a wild boar in the Valga district, Õru parish, near the border with Latvia, where there have been a series of cases.

Any pigs, wild pigs and related products that were shipped since 2 September from Estonia will be returned or destroyed. Also, any such products posted or carried by passengers travelling from Estonia into China, once discovered, will be returned or destroyed.

The ban was issued “to prevent the disease from entering China and protect the safety of livestock and human health”​, said AQSIQ, citing the law of the People’s Republic of China on the entry and exit of animals and plants (quarantine), and other relevant regulations.

Related topics: Meat

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