China, the largest consuming market for SA’s beef has finally lifted a ban on South African beef months after it halted the business following an outbreak of a contagious disease.
An outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in January of 2019 saw South Africa lose business with a number of countries. The biggest loss was however felt after China stopped importing its beef products.
The move to life the ban comes after South African President Cyril Ramaphosa made a special request to China to allow the country to resume exporting beef products to China.
In 2017, China and South Africa signed a trade agreement giving a go-ahead for SA to export its beef products to China, a move that created a booming local beef industry in the Southern African country.
The Chinese Government made known it is lifting the ban on cloven-hoofed animals and related products in South Africa except for areas that were affected: in Limpopo, Ehlanzeni in Mpumalanga, and Umkhanyakude in KZN.
“China’s decision to lift the ban despite the fact that the OIE has not resumed the status of an FMD-free zone sends a message to the international community and is a challenge to the OIE to speed up the procedure to resume South Africa’s status, and has encouraged other countries to resume beef imports,’ Chinese Ambassador Lin Songtian said.
China took over from the US as the world number one importer of beef. The country reportedly needs to import 200 tons of beef annually to meet that demand. Chinese consume about 6 kilograms of beef per person per year.
In order to beat demand, the country needs to import beef products from different countries.
Featured Image Courtesy: The Straits Times