Brazil pork sales to China soar as US ties sour

Global Times - - Biz Overview -

Brazil’s pork ex­ports to China have soared in re­cent months af­ter a brief sus­pen­sion by China, and ex­perts said on Tues­day that the jump – which has come amid es­ca­lat­ing US-China trade tensions – in­di­cates a huge po­ten­tial for agri­cul­tural im­ports from Brazil and the broader Latin Amer­ica re­gion.

First-quar­ter Brazil­ian pork ex­ports to China in­creased 151.6 per­cent year-on-year to 39,175 tons, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased Mon­day by the Brazil­ian Min­istry of In­dus­try, For­eign Trade and Ser­vices.

The fast growth largely off­set losses in ex­ports to Rus­sia, which was the largest des­ti­na­tion for Brazil­ian pork be­fore Rus­sia ban­ning it in De­cem­ber 2017 af­ter dis­cov­er­ing il­le­gal food ad­di­tives in the meat, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

China also banned meat im­ports from Brazil but lifted the ban at the end of 2017.

Pork ex­ports to China may fur­ther ex­pand af­ter the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment an­nounced a 25 per­cent tar­iff on pork im­ports from the US in re­sponse to pos­si­ble tar­iffs on Chi­nese im­ports by the US, news web­site ifeng. com re­ported on Tues­day, cit­ing Fran­cisco Turra, chair­man of the Brazil­ian An­i­mal Pro­tein As­so­ci­a­tion.

“We ex­pect that ex­ports to China will grow dra­mat­i­cally and that the im­pact of the Rus­sian ex­port ban will be kept to a min­i­mum,” Turra was quoted as say­ing.

Ex­perts said that ris­ing tensions be­tween China and the US, which is also a ma­jor agri­cul­tural prod­ucts sup­plier, would give Brazil and other Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries a huge op­por­tu­nity.

“If China were to im­pose tar­iffs on US agri­cul­tural prod­ucts as an­nounced, that would drive down ex­ports of US agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to China and leave a huge void for Latin Amer­i­can agri­cul­tural pro­duc­ers to fill,” Ma Wen­feng, a se­nior an­a­lyst at Bei­jing Ori­ent Agribusi­ness Con­sul­tant, told the Global Times on Tues­day.

Ma said that Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries are also big agri­cul­tural ex­porters and “ex­pand­ing agri­cul­tural im­ports from the re­gion could di­ver­sify China’s food sup­ply and avert risks.”

Other ex­perts also said that China has al­ready been try­ing to strengthen trade ties with Latin Amer­ica, ex­pand­ing ex­ports and in­vest­ment in the re­gion.

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