After Ireland gained approval to export beef to China in April 2018, five other countries in the European Union (EU) are hoping to follow suit by the end of the year. China banned beef imports from the EU in 2000 following a mad cow disease outbreak in Europe. At the time, China imported minimal volumes and was not a significant market for top global beef producers. Between 2000 and 2017, annual beef and veal consumption in China boomed from 5.1 million tonnes to 8.2 million tonnes. Now, global producers are fighting to carve out shares of China’s surging beef imports.
EU Commissioner of Agriculture Phil Hogan recently brought 70 EU food companies to Shanghai to facilitate trade talks at a food and beverage exhibition. He seeks to get beef plants in Britain, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Italy approved for export to China by the end of 2018. The EU’s beef and veal exports have grown each year since 2013. Hogan believes there is still significant room for growth in Chinese per capita consumption of beef. In 2017, per capita beef and veal consumption in China was 5.71 kilograms, a 47 percent increase since 2000. Gro Intelligence subscribers can use our data to analyze trends in consumption of various goods and forecast subsequent impacts.