France reaches an agreement with China to export beef after 17-year-old ban
The agreement was reached during Macron's three-day visit to China and it lifts the 2001 embargo on French beef imports which was imposed due to the outbreaks of "mad cow" disease that hit France during the 1990s, Channel NewsAsia informs.
The French minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire said that the country needs to open new markets for its beef exports after it has been noticed that beef consumption in France has been falling 5% a year. According to Mr. Le Maire, the opening of the Chinese market for the French shipments "will allow for higher prices that will better compensate cattle ranchers."
INTERBEV, the National Inter-professional Association for Livestock and Meat, announced in a statement that the new agreement represents excellent news for France's beef producers, "who consider the potential of the Chinese market a strategic opportunity."
Furthermore, the French association said that China represents the world's second-largest beef importer, with 1.1 million tons imported per year.
According to a study made by Daxue Consulting, beef is becoming increasingly popular amongst the Chinese consumers, the trend being reflected in the Chinese beef importations that have seen a rise by a factor of 186 in the 2003-2016 period, reaching a value of US$ 2.8 billion.
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