Thursday, 08 March 2018 12:55

Trade deals boosting beef

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Rabobank’s latest beef quarterly report is positive about beef’s prospects. Rabobank’s latest beef quarterly report is positive about beef’s prospects.

Two key trade agreements could dictate beef sales in 2018, claims Rabobank.

It says the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), due for signing later this month, will bring gains for Australia and New Zealand as beef exporters.

Meanwhile, the EU is considering accepting another 99,000 tonnes of beef from four South American countries as part of a new trade deal under negotiation, the bank says.

The CCTPP free trade agreement includes NZ, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam.

The RaboResearch Beef Quarterly report says gains are expected for beef-exporting countries Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Canada because of reduced tariffs imposed by big-spending Japan and those of the smaller importers Chile, Vietnam and Peru.
The EU is working on a trade deal with the four founding members of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay). Rabobank refers to a newly tabled proposal that would allow Mercosur countries to send 99,000t of beef to the EU at a lower tariff level. 

“This is a significant volume, given total EU beef imports over the last couple of years of 204,000 - 270,000t.”

Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay are already the EU’s main suppliers (63% of total EU imports); Brazil alone shipped 107,000t in 2017. 

“Mercosur negotiators are apparently seeking an increase to 150,000t,” Rabobank says. “This standoff may further prolong the discussions, which already run the risk of delay due to the Brazilian elections.”

China is further opening its beef market to the world, allowing more beef imports and importing countries, intensifying market competition, the bank says.

China has approved chilled-beef access for Argentina – fourth-ranking behind Australia, US and NZ. 

In frozen beef, Belarus has approval: two plants were accredited in January. 

China has signed to import beef from France and UK, starting in the next few months. 

And the first shipment of live cattle from northern Australia arrived in January – “the strongest indication that live-cattle trade may persist,” the bank says.

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