Just a month ago, the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), tabbed China as their biggest beef export destination.
“Beef shipments lifted 30%, reaching 24,000 tonnes swt, a record high since December last year. Lamb exports to China remained steady with shipments in April increasing 2% to 7,000 tonnes swt while mutton showed strong signs of recovery, lifting to 4,600 tonnes swt from 3,300 tonnes swt in March”
Hours ago, the Chinese Foreign Ministry put out a statement claiming that custom officers had detected “repeated violations of inspection” such as food labelling and health certificates it said.
It is alleged that four meat companies – who account for roughly 35% of Australia’s beef exports- were fingered as the main perpetrators.
The blockage of Australian beef to China, is estimated to come at a loss of more than $3 billion. At last count, China was Australia’s second biggest export market after Japan.
Beijing move to suspend Australian beef exports was seemingly irked by comments from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who supported a call to conduct an inquiry into China’s knowledge about coronavirus.
The growing demand for grain fed beef in China has opened doors for export beef companies. MLA reported that the market of grain fed beef in China saw a share of 10% in the total export volumes.
Fears were also mounting that China might impose a ban on other meat products from Australia.It is still unclear whether such a bold move by China will tilt the scales of world meat supply