Brazilian police on Tuesday opened two separate investigations into whether certain food companies improperly received favorable treatment from the Agriculture Ministry, the latest probe ensnaring the powerful farming sector. The probes into whether inspection procedures were relaxed for meatpacking, dairy and other food companies come two months after industry leaders JBS SA and BRF SA were rocked by allegations of bribing food inspectors.
Brazilian exports outweighed imports by more than US$7 billion in March despite fears that the economy could be hard hit by the country's on-going meat scandal. The country recorded a US$7.14 billion trade surplus last month, the highest level on record for the country and a whopping 61.2% increase on the previous year.
China has become the largest importer of frozen Argentine beef, according to the latest data released by the Industry and Trade of Meat and Meat Produce Association (CICCRA). However these figures are far from neighboring Uruguay which in four months shipped to China almost 50.000 tons, that has become the country's leading market.
Uruguay exported meat, offal, meat products and by-products worth 550 million dollars in the year up to 18 April, 8% more than the same period of 2014. Beef exports totaled 454 million in the first months of the year, with the main buyers including China, member countries of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the European Union, Israel and MERCOSUR countries.
Uruguay's meat exports slid 6.5% in volume during 2013 compared to the previous year, but the big news is that China has become the main client for beef, followed by Nafta countries, (US, Canada and Mexico), according to the latest release from the country's National Meat Institute, INAC.
Soybeans, electricity and beef figure as the main export items of landlocked Paraguay, during the first five months of the year. According to a release from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, exports at the end of May reached 4,12bn dollars compared to 2.96bn a year ago, which represents a 57.3% increase.
While the mantle of the world largest beef exporting nation has traditionally been a three-way race between Australia, Brazil and the US, 2012 has seen India race ahead of the pack, with expectations for Indian beef exports to grow again in 2013.
Argentina on Thursday officially lodged a dispute against US restrictions on imports of Argentinean beef and other meat products, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday.
Last year was very positive for Brazil beef exports having jumped from 4.8 billion dollars in 2010 to 5.37 billion in 2011, which represents an 11.65% increase according to Abicec, the Brazilian Association of Meat exporting industries.
Uruguay meat exports so far this year (June 9) represented 766 million dollars which is slightly higher that the same period last year when the sum was 722 million dollars; likewise tonnage was 195.459 compared to 184.749 tons in 2011.