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Beefing Up the China–Australia Trade Relations


China’s demand for high-quality beef is increasing because of its growing middle class. Data from Meat & Livestock Australia show that the sales of Australian beef to China increased six-fold in three years, reaching US$ 917 million in 2015.[1] Furthermore, estimates by Rabobank say that the Chinese will be consuming additional 2.2 million metric tonnes per year, resulting in 10.2 million metric tonnes consumed in a year by 2025.[2]

In regard to China–Australia trade relations, Australia will play an important role in meeting the need for growing demand for beef in China because 45 per cent of beef import to China comes from Australia, according to the Irish food board Bord Bia.[3] Furthermore, Chinese consumers are likely to pay more than in any other markets for top-quality beef if they are assured the cow was raised in Australia, according to the CEO of a livestock-exporting enterprise.[4]

In a similar development, milk consumers in China may soon enjoy milk from cows guaranteed to have been reared in Australia when a farm-to-fork milk procurement from Victoria, a state in the south-east of Australia, has been launched. Consumers can subscribe directly to fresh farm produce in Australia, which not only will supply them organic milk but also allow them to see their milking cows being pampered by passionate farmers through a virtual tour using drones.

With ChaFTA now entered into force, China’s growing demand for cow products and Australia’s reputation in the cattle industry will increase the commercial interactions between the two countries, beefing up their trade relations.