October 3, 2023

Beef may be cheaper in Brazil with China’s ban

Ban on Brazilian beef China frustrates exporters. On the other hand, Brazilian consumers saw a slight decrease in the price of the product.

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Industry sources and analysts told Reuters that the ongoing ban, which took effect on September 4, threatens to force shipments already arriving in China to be redirected to markets such as Iran and Vietnam.

Shipments are arriving at Chinese ports despite the ban in part because exporters expected it to last only 15 days, which time a similar suspension held in 2019. But that ban has lasted longer – now more than 60 days.

The suspension mechanism is part of the animal health agreement signed between China and Brazil and aims to give Beijing time to assess the problem. It is up to China to decide when to start importing again.

The suspension is a major blow to Brazilian producers and meat processors, with China and Hong Kong buying more than half of Brazilian beef exports.

Cases were identified in slaughterhouses in Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais. It has been described by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture as “atypical” mad cow disease, which develops spontaneously and is not associated with eating contaminated foods.

“Some of my shipments were produced in August, approved before the ban, but left after September 4 and when they arrived, the importer said they could not be released,” one of the sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The source said he shipped 22 containers under these conditions, after they had been certified before the ban. A second industrial source confirmed that the shipments were prevented from entering China.

For Minerva Foods, South America’s largest beef exporter, the longest delay in lifting the suspension goes beyond health issues and is linked to political tensions as well as rising beef stocks in China, Chief Financial Officer Edison Tikal said at an event on Oct.