China Agrees on Importing Indian Buffalo Meat
China has finally agreed to start buying buffalo meat from India and removing restrictions on the import of Indian beef. A quality inspection team from Beijing had visited India to examine the buffalo slaughter houses and have cleared 14 of these butchering facilities for sending meat to China. The government has been trying to make China agree to buy beef from India from May 2014.
China had been getting Indian beef from Vietnam and India was not getting any benefit that could change the bilateral trade. The export of beef to China can change the trade deficit with China considerably. The trade deficit of India with China was $48.48 billion in 2014-15 and it rose to $52.69 billion in 2015-16.
Vietnam is the biggest buyer of Indian beef. 5,24,370 MT( metric tonne) of Indian beef was sent to Vietnam in 2013-14 and 6,33,800.24 MT in 2014-15. China was buying Indian beef from Vietnam and so the Indian government wanted the beef to be sold directly from the country.
During Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to India in 2013, China had signed a MoU for getting beef from India but have cleared 14 centers for import only recently. Indian water buffalo meat is cost competitive and better in quality than the beef from other countries like Brazil. India exported 13,14,158.05 MT of buffalo meat and its products all over the world for a value of Rs.2,6681.56 crore last year. The main markets for Indian buffalo meat are Vietnam, Malaysia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
China has the largest population in the world and its consumption of meat is also on a rise. The NGO WildAid shows data which says that half of the world’s beef will be consumed by Chinese population by the year 2030. It also shows that on an average a Chinese eats about 170 gm meat per day which is much more from the average of 30gms in 1978.
China had removed its ban on beef import from the US last year so India has a good hope. In May 2015 Indian prime minister had visited China and raised this matter. China had then decided to send quality inspectors for examining Indian slaughterhouses for seeing if they meet the norms Chinese have set. A joint statement that was issued after Mr. Narendra Modi’s visit to China declared that both countries will take required actions for promoting the bilateral trade.