CHINA, CHILE, EGYPT LIFT RESTRICTIONS
Brazil hails ‘total reopening of market’ as proof of quality
BRAZIL’S under-fire meat industry received a major boost as China, Chile and Egypt began lifting restrictions on imports from the Latin American country.
Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi announced China’s “total reopening of the market for Brazilian meat” in a statement released on Saturday by the ministry’s press office.
“This testifies categorically to the solidity and quality of the Brazilian sanitary system and is a victory for our exporting capacity,” he wrote.
Chile and Egypt also confirmed changes to their bans.
Operation Weak Flesh, the Brazilian police investigation into allegations that inspectors were bribed to approve the sale of tainted meat, dealt a body blow to the country’s agricultural industry.
Brazil accounts for about 20 per cent of global beef exports and almost 40 per cent of chicken exports. Twenty-five countries put some kind of restriction on Brazilian meat imports in the wake of the scandal.
China, including Hong Kong, is the biggest export market for Brazilian meat, buying about a third of the US$5.5 billion of beef shipped from Latin America’s largest economy last year, according to the meat exporters’ group Abiec.
Hong Kong’s restrictions on Brazilian meat remain in place.
According to the ministry of agriculture, China’s ban on Brazilian products will be suspended today, with the exception of meat processed in 21 plants still under investigation by Brazilian authorities.
Fifty-seven Brazilian meat-processing plants will be able to send their goods to China as they did before March 19.
Also on Saturday, Chile’s Agriculture and Livestock Service said it was modifying its ban on Brazilian meat imports to prohibit only those products from plants under investigation.
Egypt also resumed imports from authorised slaughterhouses, said the agriculture ministry in a statement. Bloomberg