The reopening of China to U.S. beef provides great market potential for U.S. agriculture. Katelyn McCullock, an AFBF economist, explained in Newsline (June 19, 2017) that China has developed a strong appetite for beef, creating market potential for U.S. ranchers.  

“We’ve seen imports of beef rise in China from about $70 million in 2003, the last time the U.S. was in that market, to over $2.5 billion worth of beef imported last year,” McCullock said. “The market potential is such that this could be a very big deal for beef producers.”  

China used to import a lot more variety meats, which has changed to much heavier demand in muscle meats, McCullock said. Muscle meats tend to be of higher value, so there’s potential to have not just more exports, but also higher-value exports.