CHINA, CHILE, EGYPT LIFT RE­STRIC­TIONS

Brazil hails ‘to­tal re­open­ing of mar­ket’ as proof of qual­ity

New Straits Times - - Business -

BRASILIA

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

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