Agreement to ship $200 million of Montana beef to China secured

U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced an agreement between JD.com, one of China’s largest retailers and the Montana Stockgrowers Association with the intent to purchase a minimum of $200 million in Montana-sourced beef over the next several years. JD.com will also seek to invest up to another $100 million to build a processing plant in Montana to support Montana beef production, with construction beginning as early as 2018.

Errol Rice, executive vice president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association and JD.com signed the agreement. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang were in attendance to witness the signing of this agreement.

“This landmark agreement has the potential to substantially increase Montana opportunity and agricultural exports to the fastest growing overseas market for beef,” Daines said. “This is a win for Montana’s hardworking ranchers.”

This agreement follows Daines’ agricultural roundtable in Belgrade, Montana, where Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai, Chinese business representatives and Montana agricultural leaders discussed potential opportunities for expanding the relationship between Montana producers and Chinese consumers.

Rice said, “The Montana Stockgrowers Association thanks Senator Daines for his work on expanding opportunities and access to overseas markets for Montana ranchers, particularly in lifting the ban on U.S. beef in China earlier this year. While there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, this MOA represents a great step in the right direction for selling more U.S. beef in China and developing productive relationships between Montana ranchers and Chinese consumers.”

JD.com intends to import Montana-sourced beef from MSGA members to China for direct sale to the 258 million Chinese consumers on its e-commerce platform. The procurement agreement is proposed for an initial three years, with a minimum commitment of $200 million in beef to be imported by JD.com from MSGA members at fair market value during the term. If fulfilled, it is estimated that JD.com’s purchase of beef will increase Montana beef export sales by as much as 40 percent in 2018.

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