Chinese beef importers are seeking to renegotiate prices previously agreed when they closed deals to buy dozens of shipments from Brazil and Uruguay because values are too high, according to a report in the online edition of local newspapers on Monday.
The website of Folha de S.Paulo reported that some Chinese importers are refusing to pay for shipments that already arrived in China, seeking a discount from Brazilian exporters. In Uruguay the farmers associations complained that the rebates amounted to some US$ 60 million and would lead to a drop in cattle prices.
China increased its purchases of several types of meat last year as the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak sharply reduced pork meat production. Deals with Brazilian beef producers increased more than 50%, and several new processing plants in Brazil were cleared to sell beef and other meats to the Asian nation.
The newspaper said some of those new companies recently cleared to sell are facing financial difficulties due to the renegotiation requests from China, because they invested in new infrastructure to be able to export and are not being paid.
Beef prices in Brazil reached an all-time high late last year particularly due to the larger buying from China, which also increased purchases from Brazilian neighbors Uruguay and Argentina.
Some Brazilian beef exporters are trying to divert cargoes that have not yet reached China to other potential destinations, such as Iran.