China approves new Argentine slaughterhouses to handle beef exports

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 8 (Reuters) - China has approved six new Argentine slaughterhouses and processing plants to handle the increasing amount of beef being shipped from the South American farming powerhouse to the commodities-hungry Asian country, an official said on Friday.

China, the world's top pork producer, has seen its hog herd shrink by a third since African swine fever arrived in the country more than a year ago. That has led to a spike in beef imports from markets like Argentina and Brazil.

Agriculture Minister Luis Etchevehere made the announcement of the six newly approved plants in a tweet.

Etchevehere, in comments made during a trip to China on Wednesday, highlighted the importance of the ties between the two countries.

"We have the advantage of being an economy that is complementary to Chinese demand, marking the way for us to establish a strategic alliance with one of the main actors of the world economy. We are here to strengthen these links," Etchevehere said, according to state news agency Telam.

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Eliana Raszewski Editing by Leslie Adler)

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