June 30, 2004



Argentina Aims To Export Fresh Beef To China

Argentina is aiming to export fresh beef to China and hopes to be able to do so in the first quarter of 2005.
China is Argentina's top agricultural trade partner. China bought 14% of total Argentine exports last year, according to Agriculture Secretariat data.
However, soybeans account for the vast bulk of these exports and Argentina wants to diversify its sales to the Asian giant.
Argentina currently exports a minimal amount of cooked beef to China. But it is unable to export its prized fresh beef, which was banned in 2001, when Argentina confirmed a widespread outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
"In October, the International Epizootiological Organization is supposed to declare us a country free of the disease and we will be able to talk with China about exporting fresh beef," Martin Redrado, Argentina's top trade official, was quoted as saying. "The goal would be to close a deal by the first quarter of next year."
Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, as well as a host of both public and private sector officials, is in China this week to boost trade and cooperation between the countries.
Argentina's is the No. 8 beef exporter, according to Agriculture Secretariat data.