(Podcast) Episode 026: What the JD.com Deal Means for Montana Beef

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Anton chats with Dr. Eric Belasco, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University, about the recently announced international agreement between the China-based JD.com and the Montana Stock Growers Association. The deal intends to invest $200 million into establishing and strengthening marketing Montana beef to Chinese consumers. But are the economic implications all good? Are there potential hidden pitfalls that need to avoided? Tune in to find out and read Eric’s earlier blog post about the deal and its economic impacts.


1:10  What is the JD.com deal? And why does China “matter” in the global beef market?

4:05  Why is this agreement such a change from the traditional marketing channels for Montana beef? And are Montana producers prepared to provide beef with specific characteristics to China?

7:30  Why is this deal a potential boon for Montana’s beef industry? Why is the Chinese growing economy an important opportunity for the industry?

11:00  The opportunities sound fantastic. But what are the economic challenges?

15:15  Why has Montana not had a large-scale feedlot and processing facilities and how are these challenges tied to the JD.com deal?

20:10  What is this deal going to do to the transportation infrastructure in Montana? Are we sufficiently set up right now to handle the increased supply of cattle?

22:10  How excited/cautious are producers and supporting industries in Montana? What are the potential indirect benefits for the industry?

(Intro and outro music by Trevor Sensor)

(Photo by NOAA Photo Library is licensed under CC BY 4.0)


About Author

Dr. Anton Bekkerman is a former associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University. He currently serves as the director of the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station. Bekkerman's primary areas of research are grain marketing, basis and price forecast modeling, understanding how grain prices are affected by changes in supply chain infrastructures and quality demands, and analyzing the economic trade-offs of adopting alternative dryland cropping systems in Montana. Although Bekkerman grew up on the east coast, he had made a small step toward production agricultural after ranching a flock of six backyard chickens.

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