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First seaborne shipment of US beef arrives in Shanghai after 14-year absence

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-09-06 09:34

SHANGHAI - Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau said Tuesday the first shipment of US beef by sea entered China on Sept 1, signifying the normalization of the large-scale import of the product.

The shipment of frozen beef weighed 15.1 tons and was valued more than $300,000, according to the bureau, which opened a green channel for a faster approval procedure.

China started the import of US beef in June after a 14-year absence. However, imports were limited to air freight in June and July, which pushed up the costs while failing to meet market demand.

Data from Shanghai Customs showed the city's beef imports reached 144,000 tons from January to July, mainly from Brazil, Australia, Uruguay and New Zealand.

China's beef imports reached around $2.5 billion in 2016. However, per capita consumption is still low compared with the United States and Australia.

The reopening of the Chinese market to US beef, one of the first results from the China-United States 100-day action plan reached in May, ends a ban initially triggered by concerns over mad cow disease in 2003, and may well start a new chapter in bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

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