Shanghai sees strongest imports of beef in July

Australia and the United States help drive beef shipments

Beef imports to Shanghai in July were the strongest, led by shipments from Australia and the United States, Shanghai Customs said in a statement today.

Beef imports surged 30 percent month on month to a record of 26,000 tons in July, Shanghai Customs said in the statement. The average price of beef rose for the ninth consecutive month to 34.7 yuan (US$5.21) per kilogram, 11.7 percent higher than July last year.

For the seven months, beef imports rose 6.7 percent year on year to 144,000 tons.

Brazil remained the largest source of imported beef but Australia and the US were starting to challenge its position.

Imports from Australia were boosted as tariffs were cut under a bilateral free trade agreement, and beef shipments from the US surged in July under the two countries' 100-day action plan to advance economic and trade links, according to Customs.

The re-opening of China's beef market to the US will change the structure of China's beef imports and challenge the domestic beef industry, Customs added.

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