Australian beef exports threatened as Chinese buyers look to US

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Xiamen, China¬†| A major Chinese commodities trader has warned it will be forced to abandon Australian beef in favour of US suppliers if Beijing does not lift bans on four of the country’s biggest abattoirs in the next six months.

Xiamen Xiangyu Group, a state-owned Chinese company which imports Australian beef, said although it had temporarily switched to other Australian abattoirs, the recent bans had increased costs and complicated logistics and packaging.

“If these four plants are not relisted as early as possible we will have to switch to US beef,” Eric Huang, director of frozen food for the logistics and trading giant, told¬†The Australian Financial Review.

“We have time to purchase more, to make up our supply to our end-users. But if this lasts for six months it is going to be hard because moving from one plant to other plants not only increases costs but we also have to educate our end-users.”

Xiamen Xiangyu said it imports about 20,000 tonnes of beef to China per month from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the United States and Australia. Australia accounts for between 1000 to 2000 tonnes of its beef imports per month.

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