China reopens market for Brazilian beef exports, following a mad cow case scare

China reopens market for Brazilian beef exports, following a mad cow case scare

Monday, March 27th 2023 – 10:17 UTC

Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro together with hundreds of agribusiness leaders arrived in Beijing last Wednesday, a business delegation “unusually large”

China reopened its market for beef exports from Brazil las week, Thursday (3/23). The information was passed on to the Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Fávaro, and to the Brazilian delegation in Beijing by the country’s General Administration of Customs (GACC).

The sales halt came to an end after a month. They had been paralyzed since Brazil imposed a self-embargo following the identification of an atypical BSE case (when the disease manifests itself in an animal spontaneously rather than through herd transmission) of mad cow disease in the state of Pará.

In a post on its website, GACC said, “after due consideration, Brazil’s mad cow disease prevention and control system complies with China’s quarantine and health requirements, and it is decided to allow Brazil to resume export of boneless beef under 30 months of age to China from March 23, 2023.”

In the text, the GACC also points out that it “places great importance” on the voluntary suspension of exports by Brazil after the identification of the case. The Brazilian agribusiness sector supports reevaluating the protocol to avoid new embargoes in cases that do not present risks.

The Chinese reported mobilizing several technical visits to assess the risks associated with the Brazilian mad cow disease prevention and control system.

“When the relevant products enter the country, customs will inspect and quarantine them under applicable laws and regulations to ensure that they meet the country’s safety and health requirements,” the text concludes.

The Ministry of Agriculture informed that the lifting of the suspension applies to animals slaughtered from March 24. There are expectations that the Chinese would also authorize the shipment of meat cuts processed by February 23 – before the beginning of the embargo – that had already been approved. These products are stored in meatpackers’ storages.

Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Fávaro, met with the Minister of the General Administration of Customs (GACC), Yu Jianhua, to discuss the topic.

“I am confident that this is a step forward for Brazil in terms of the accreditation of meatpackers and opportunities for the Brazilian beef and livestock market,” Fávaro said after the meeting, according to a note released by the ministry’s media department.

In addition to reopening the market for beef from Brazil, China also lifted the embargo on two meat processors that had their sales suspended for a longer time for other reasons. Now, the sector eagerly awaits the news that other units received export permits. It is unclear how many or which plants will receive the Chinese approval, but this information could be confirmed in the coming days.

One of the units that will likely be authorized to resume exports is a BRF unit in Marau, Rio Grande do Sul state, whose chicken meat sales to China have been barred since December 2021. The other authorized plant is Ramax, formerly Frigorífico Redentor, in Guarantã do Norte, Mato Grosso. Beef exports from the unit have been paralyzed since. Three other meatpackers continue with exports suspended to China and must send additional documents for future release.

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