By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Neri Geller, Brazil’s Agriculture Minister, announced Thursday (July 17th) that China has agreed to suspend its embargo on Brazilian beef. The ban has been in place since 2012 when a case of mad cow disease was reported in the state of Parana.
The decision was announced after a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff. According to Geller beef exports are expected to restart by the end of this year.
The government official said that in the beginning eight meat packing plants will be given authorization to export to China and nine additional plants are expected to request authorization in the coming weeks.
With the re-start of beef exports to China, the Asian country may be the destination of up to eighteen percent of all beef exported by Brazil. Geller said that the expectation is to sell between US$800 million and US$1 billion to China in the coming year.
Brazil started to export beef to China in 2009 and by December 2012, before the embargo was announced, the annual volume had reached US$37.7 million. “In addition to the increased Chinese demand, the confidence in Brazil’s health system led to the decision (to lift the ban),” said Geller.
Brazilian beef exports are currently banned in Saudi Arabia. Peru and Iran also suspended purchases of beef from the state of Mato Grosso, after a 2014 report of mad cow disease in the state.
The Chinese leader is in Brazil this week for the BRICs summit, which also had the presence of leaders from India, Russia and South Africa.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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