Montana Stockgrowers strike $300M beef deal with China’s eCommerce firm
November 9, 2017
President Donald Trump's visit to China has delivered an early Christmas present to the state of Montana, with a $300 million beef deal, that industry organizations are hailing as an industry game changer.
The deal, between the Montana Stockgrowers Association and JD.com, a Chinese eCommerce firm, includes $100 million for a slaughterhouse.
Stockgrowers' Executive Vice President Errol Rice and Miles City Rancher Fred Wacker were in Beijing for the signing ceremony.
According to the Billings Gazette, from January 2018 until 2020, JD.com has agreed to purchase $200 million worth of Montana-sourced beef. The company will likely buy at least 80,000 to 90,000 head of cattle, Wacker said in the Gazette story. "Finding additional opportunities for U.S. beef in foreign markets is crucial to strengthening the bottom line of U.S. cattle producers. We commend Errol Rice, Fred Wacker, the Montana Stockgrowers Association and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., for their efforts in bringing this partnership to Montana. This is exactly the sort of forward-thinking solution that is needed to open up new markets for U.S. beef products and ensure that we leave a successful and profitable future for generations of Montana producers. We encourage other parts of the country to follow this example and seek out their own innovative solutions to increase market access, and therefore economic opportunity, for U.S. cattle producers," said U.S. Cattlemen's Association President Kenny Graner.
According to reports, Montana ranchers will supply $200 million in beef, from January through 2020, and construction on the packing plant could begin as early as spring 2018.
–Editor's note: An in-depth story will be coming soon.