By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The suspension of Brazilian fresh beef imports by the United States announced in June should have a minimal impact on Brazilian exports, according to the director of the Department of Statistics and Export Support at the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC) Herlon Brandão.
The decision, however, has led another country, China, to increase its inspection on imported Brazilian meat products.
“The export to the U.S. of fresh beef accounted for about two percent of Brazilian exports of this type of product. Brazil exports to more than 160 countries and the U.S. market was opened this year and showed a reduction from 4,500 tons in May to 2,400 tons in June. In the overall assessment, however, the impact is not significant,” Brandão said in a press conference on Monday.
Data released by Brazilian trade officials shows that in the first half of this year, Brazil exported 3.1 million tons of fresh and industrialized meat, yielding a total of US$6.9 billion to Brazil. Of those, 14,000 tons of fresh meat went to the United States, which paid US$59 million for the imports.
According to Brandão, Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef and the country’s leadership in the global product market should not be threatened.
The official told reporters that a Brazilian government mission will go to the United States this month to negotiate an end to the embargo.
While Brazilian officials claim that the problems associated with the meat exported to the United States was due to a reaction by the animals to the foot-and-mouth disease vaccine, another country, China, has announced it will start more rigid inspections into Brazilian meat coming into the country.
According to news agency Reuters, the Asian giant will adopt measures if it finds food safety problems in meat imported from Brazil.