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Where’s the beef? China meat ban leaves Brazilian officials baffled

Brazilian officials are increasingly concerned about China’s ban on Brazilian beef, which has been going on for more than a month and threatens to thin out about $ 4 billion worth of exports annually.

Brasilia voluntarily stopped shipping protein to its largest market, China, in early September after confirming two cases of “atypical” mad cow disease at separate meat factories nationwide.

Many expected Beijing to resume imports soon after no signs of illness were detected in Brazil. However, the outage has lasted for almost six weeks, fueling increasingly astonishment between Brazilian authorities and their large meat packaging companies.

“Brazil was completely transparent to the Chinese health authorities. We responded promptly to all requests for information addressed to us. In addition, we are still scheduled by the Chinese authorities. We have requested a technical conference that has not, they claim to be analyzing the information we sent, “said an official from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture.

“The decision is not up to us, so we cannot set a date for the resumption of beef exports to China.”

Brazil is the largest in the world beef Exporters and their meat packaging companies, including JBS and Marfrig, are benefiting significantly from the rapidly growing protein market in China.

Between January and July of this year, beef shipments from Brazil to China reached 490,000 tonnes and sales reached US $ 2.5 billion, 8.6% and 13.8, respectively, compared to the same period last year. Increased by%. Brazilian Meat Export Industry Association.

“I’m surprised that the outage lasted so long and I’m hoping for an immediate solution, but there’s no guarantee,” said an executive at a major meat packaging company.

Ireland is watching closely as China has not yet lifted its Irish stew import ban following last year’s “atypical” mad cow disease incident. Beijing also announced a ban on British beef from cattle less than 30 months from September 29, after the incident was discovered in Somerset last month.

The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Commission, a British agricultural advisory body, said China’s ban on British beef was a blow to British farmers who wanted to resume beef exports to the country. China has not yet begun purchasing British beef, despite lifting the long-standing ban on British beef in 2018 and signing a protocol to resume imports the following year.

According to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, these cases are considered “atypical” because they “occur spontaneously and sporadically and have nothing to do with the consumption of contaminated food” and “to human and animal health. There was no risk, “he added.

In recent years, China has shown increased sensitivity to food safety issues, especially with regard to imports. Last year, Beijing stopped importing from many Brazilian meat processing plants due to concerns that the virus could be imported domestically due to the outbreak of Covid-19 at the facility.

An Australian meat and livestock consultant said it may maintain the latest ban on Brazilian beef while China is blinding to imports indirectly imported from Vietnam and Hong Kong. The gray channel is one of the only options. “

Some Brazilian analysts believe that the ban is a way for China to generate commercial profits.

“This delay in resumption could be a bargaining tactic aimed at improving pricing and gaining bargaining power. It seems more commercial, as there is nothing to discuss on health issues. It looks like, “said Hiberville Nett of Scott Consultria, a consultant for the meat and cattle industry.

In China, importers said a long-term outage of Brazilian beef would have a significant impact given the size of shipments, but in most cases expected trade to resume shortly.

“Brazilian beef accounts for up to one-third of our business, replacing it by increasing imports from other countries in Scandinavia and Kazakhstan,” he said.

Chenjun Pan, an expert in Rabobank’s Chinese agriculture sector, said shipments are expected to resume “within a year.”

“At this point, China has a very good supply of pork and may be able to solve the problem. [of protein shortages and substituting Brazilian beef].. This is not a strategic animal protein supply for the Chinese government, as beef is not a major animal protein. “

Standoffs also jeopardize the fate of an estimated 100,000 tonnes of Brazilian beef that was certified before the trade suspension but was subsequently shipped. Beijing seems to be refusing to enter the product.

“The products in transit have the impression that they are stagnant at the transshipment port or idling off the coast of China,” said a Brazilian meat packaging executive.

An Australian industrial consultant said the cargo would probably be pulled in via Vietnam or Hong Kong, but could not be redirected elsewhere.

“Brazil is oversaturated with beef, has incorrect specifications, has no health certificate, and is not labeled with China, so it cannot go to the United States or other markets, so it will return to Brazil. There is no choice. “

Additional report by Michael Pooler and Carolina Pulse Sun Paul and Emma Chow in Beijing

Where’s the beef? China meat ban leaves Brazilian officials baffled Source link Where’s the beef? China meat ban leaves Brazilian officials baffled

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