Bill Bullard Jr.

China's largest online retailer to buy Montana beef

China's largest online retailer has agreed to buy $200 million worth of Montana beef over the next three years — representing as many as 90,000 head of cattle — and potentially invest $100 million more in a new slaughterhouse in the state under the terms of a trade deal disclosed Wednesday.

The scope of the agreement is relatively small compared to Montana's overall cattle market, equaling less than four percent of the state's cattle sales on an annualized basis.

But Montana livestock industry representatives said it marks a significant break into the sizeable and growing Chinese beef market. They said the inclusion of a new slaughterhouse would make it easier to ensure...

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