The huge Chinese market is expected to open up to WA cattle producers, with a further step taken towards trial shipments.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by WA live exporters and Chinese business representatives today, work will be done to clarify Australian and Chinese animal health and welfare protocols, paving the way for the export of live cattle from the State.
“WA has a long and proud history of producing premium quality, safe agricultural products and exporting them around the world,” WA Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said.
“Our ability to grow more food than required by our domestic market has led to producers looking to develop new markets overseas.”
China is Australia’s top export destination for agriculture and food products.
In 2012/13, WA agrifood exports to China and Hong Kong were worth more than $1 billion.
Mr Baston said demand for beef in China was strong and driven by economic growth, a rapidly-expanding middle class, and a slight contraction in domestic production.
Chinese businesses were interested in securing supply of boxed beef and potentially live exports, he said.
In October, Premier Colin Barnett witnessed the signing of an MoU with WA’s sister state Zhejiang province for new trade arrangements, including live cattle.
Mr Baston said the Zhejiang agreement had provided the groundwork for the MoU signed today and would assist future work with other provinces in China.