China and Argentina have signed agreements to allow the import to China of de-boned beef, dairy products, apples, bamboo and barley, China's quarantine administration said on Wednesday. However no mention was made of an expected deal on corn.
Without an agreement on corn, imports of Argentina corn into China are not expected in the short term despite earlier market talk.
Bilateral trade has recently improved between the two countries after China in October lifted a de facto ban on imports of soy-oil from Argentina, its largest supplier, after a six-month shutdown amid a wide-ranging trade dispute.
The latest agreements were signed on Tuesday during a visit to Beijing by the Argentine agriculture minister Julian Dominguez, China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a report on its web site (www.aqsiq.gov.cn).
It's a historic moment, undersecretary for livestock Alejandro Lotti of the deals that cover meat, barley, dairy, apple and bamboo.
The possibility of exporting beef to China is very important, because it is not limited to the most valuable cuts... China consumes the entire animal's meat, Lotti said.
Dominguez called China a vital interest for Argentina as it has grown to become Argentina’s main market for agriculture products, officials said.
China, the world's-largest beer producer, does not have sufficient domestic supplies of the key ingredient barley. China imported 1.7 million tonnes of barley in 2009, mainly from Australia, Canada and France.
China this year partially opened its market for beef imports from Canada and pork from the United States as improved living standards in the world's-fastest growing major economy have created rising demand for meat.
Argentina is China's third largest supplier of food, behind the United States and Brazil, and trade between the two countries has rocketed from four billion dollars in 2004 to 14 billion dollars in 2008, according to official figures. Overall, China is Argentina's second largest trading partner after Brazil, and ahead of the European Union.