The reopening of the Chinese market for Brazilian beef did not stem from technical or communications issues, and the good relationship between the two countries will continue to prosper, reach the pre-pandemic level and advance further, according to Brazil's Agriculture minister Tereza Cristina.
Even when the almost fifteen-week-long beef ban forced the Brazilian government to support medium-sized meat packing plants, and the price of live cattle has only started to reverse, the overall issue of the ban needs a more in-depth analysis from Brasilia, added minister Cristina.
We had two atypical mad cow cases almost at the same time. And Chinese authorities wanted to check and recheck the sanitary system, thinking in their own strategies and priorities. The return to normal trade means more opportunities for Brazilian ranchers and the protein industry, and as important the Brazilian sanitary inspection system was validated by our main trade partner. We have given proof that Brazil is doing its homework, underlined the minister.
Cristina now wants to address other issues that were set aside during the ban and since the pandemic. We are looking to negotiate new licenses for abattoirs still pending, some twelve, and we expect to have them agreed sometime in 2022
“The relationship continues as it has always been. We treat China as a very important partner due to the volume of commodities they need and Brazil has to offer”, minister Cristina pointed out.
But despite the enthusiasm of the minister, Beijing also advanced that beginning January first import tariffs on most pork produce will be increased from 8% to 12%. In effect China, world's largest producer and consumer of pork has significantly increased production and reduced import needs.
Tariffs for imports from most preferred nations will increase from 8% to 12% on Jan. 1, according to a statement from the Beijing Finance ministry and Customs Office.
China cut its tariffs on frozen pork in 2020 from 12% to 8% while it was facing rising domestic meat prices following a devastating African swine disease outbreak which forced the termination of millions of pigs.
Chinese imports reached record levels and remained at high levels during the first half of this year, but with the recovery of the pig herd and prices falling below production costs in the third quarter, the decision was taken to increase tariffs to their former level.
“Adjusting rates in a timely manner can help secure supplies and stabilize prices in the domestic market, making reasonable use of the international market,” said Zhu Zengyong, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
The higher rates will further reduce sales from major exporters such as the US, Spain and other European countries and Brazil, which has China as its main client. Pork shipments from Brazil to China in October were down 40% over a year earlier, while overall imports in the twelve months dropped 8%, according to Chinese Customs data.