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“U.S. beef is high-quality and is popular among our consumers and we will surely expand imports,” said Li Zhengfang, deputy general manager with COFCO Meat Holdings Ltd., at the sidelines of the event. COFCO imported the first shipment of U.S. beef last week and said China’s beef supply will be in deficit for long period of time due to rising demand and limited domestic resources.
U.S. beef was offered on COFCO’s online shop on Friday, with a 180 gram rib-eye steak sold at 75 yuan ($11). Australian beef sold at 72 yuan.
U.S. grain-fed beef is not aiming to compete with grass-fed beef from Brazil, which is now China’s largest supplier, but give consumers more choice, said Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation’s senior vice president for Asia-Pacific. More Chinese are consuming steak, barbecue and hotpot, he said.