Montana Stockgrowers Assoc. hopes $300M China beef trade agreeme - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana Stockgrowers Assoc. hopes $300M China beef trade agreement will bolster economy

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MISSOULA -

It may one be a matter of months before Montana beef will be served on the dinner tables of the Chinese.

China's largest online retailer signed a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars to buy Montana beef.

"We've got some great news coming out of Beijing today, says Senator Steve Daines (D-MT). "We've secured a $300 million deal for our cattle industry in Montana. This is good news for our agriculture. It's good news for our hard-working ranchers across Montana."

This agreement, which was secured by Senator Daines, follows an agricultural roundtable he held last September in Belgrade, discussing potential business opportunities for Montana beef with the ambassador of China.

One of those opportunities on Wednesday became a reality.

Under the deal, Chinese retailer JD.com has agreed to purchase a minimum of $50 million of Montana beef next year, $70 million in 2019 and $80 million in 2020.

Kori Anderson with the Montana Stockgrowers Association says that this is a great win for all Montana Stockgrowers Association members as the purchase could equal 40 to 50,000 head of cattle.

"As Montana has seen a budget shortfall, we're really excited to be able to bring this value back to Montana producers," Anderson says. "And we really hope that this is just something that we just build up and that this initial three years just gives us the momentum to really bolster our economy and help out Montana as a whole."

The agreement also calls for the potential to build a $100 million slaughterhouse in the state.

Anderson says that the construction of a slaughterhouse would allow for future growth of the cattle industry.

A location for the facility has not been determined.

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