SYDNEY, Sept 27 China has restricted imports of
chilled beef from Australia, the world's third-largest beef
exporter, after ruling that exporters must receive approval,
Australia said on Friday.
Australian beef exports to China are forecast to be worth
about A$600 million ($562 million) in the 2013/14 season.
Industry sources said chilled beef accounts for around 10
percent of sales.
"China has recently advised that export establishments must
be approved for specific products, including chilled meat," a
spokeswoman at Australia's department of agriculture said.
The government was working with China and the meat industry
to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, she said.
Chinese officials could not immediately be reached for
Beef exports to China have soared in recent months as
Australia has enjoyed favourable access compared to other major
China has restricted imports of beef from the United States
and Brazil over fears about mad cow disease, a brain-wasting
condition formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Australia is forecast to ship 130,000 tonnes of beef to
China during the 2013/14 marketing year, becoming Australia's
($1 = 1.0685 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Ed Davies)