China's Administration of Customs, GACC announced on Wednesday it was authorizing the unloading of Brazilian beef, certified before September 4th., the date when the suspension was caused by the confirmation of two atypical cases of “mad cow” disease in Brazil, (in Minas Gerais and Mato Grosso), became effective.
Brazil at the time, and following on a joint protocol agreed with Chinese food authorities, voluntarily suspended beef shipments to China, while local processing plants became increasingly restless given the tons of certified beef forcibly stored before the suspension date.
Anyhow after weeks of waiting, this first Chinese decision referred to the ban, has been received with optimism by Brazilian processing plants, and ranchers who have seen the price of cattle plummet in the last two months and a half. Hopefully, the overall situation will soon begin defreezing and things could be back to normal, soon.
China has become the main customer for Brazilian beef and in the first seven months of the year exports reached almost half a million tons generating sales of US$ 2,4 billion, according to the Brazilian Meat Exporting Industry Association.
Giving clearance to the containers retained with beef, China has sent a strong signal of goodwill in the situation, according to an executive from the meat exporting association. It is not known yet when Beijing will lift total suspension measures, but the release of already certified product is a great relief.
According to a source from the meatpackers industry, the volume of certified beef — on its way to China or already held at different ports — amounts to some 140,000 tons. And taking into account an average price of US$ 6,300 per ton, we're talking of close to US$ 900 million
In related news, Russia's commercial representative in Brazil announced this week it will resume purchases of meat from twelve Brazilian processing plants, three beef abattoirs and 9 pork abattoirs. Since the end of 2017, these units were temporarily restricted from exporting to the Russian market because of the presence of the additive ractopamine in some shipments.
The Russian Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) announced that the ban had been lifted as of November 25. The decision follows negotiations in Moscow between the head of Rosselkhoznadzor, Sergey Dankvert, and Brazil's Minister of Agriculture, Tereza Cristina.
According to a Russian release the resumption took into account the work carried out by the Brazilian ministry to comply with Moscow’s requirements and the guarantees that were presented by Brasília. Rosselkhoznadzor also informed that it “continues to seek opportunities to expand the list of Brazilian processing plants authorized to export beef to Russia. This follows on the Russian government's announcement it intends to purchase 300,000 tons of meat in Brazil, 200,000 beef and 100,000 pork, tariff-free, in six months.