China’s Customs service and the Brazilian government have announced imports of boneless beef products from Brazil have resumed, effective 15 December, after a near 100-day ban.
According to Chinese Customs, the approval is valid for cattle less than 30 months old.
The import resumption was confirmed by Brazil’s Foreign Affairs secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Orlando Ribeiro, who said that the only cut-off criterion for import approval in China is the International Health Certificate (CSI).
The world’s largest beef exporter, Brazil was temporarily prevented from importing to China on 4 September, after two atypical cases of “mad cow disease” were registered in Minas Gerais and Mato Grosso.
China relies heavily on imports to meet growing demand for beef from an increasingly affluent middle class. The trade is worth an estimated US$4 billion a year to Brazil.
According to the Brazilian government, batches of beef with CSI issued between 4 September and 14 December will not be accepted.
The Brazilian authorities, complying with the sanitary protocol contained in the trade agreement between the two countries, suspended exports to China, their main trading partner.
However, meat that was already bound for Asia continued to be exported, until part of it was stopped by Chinese Customs.
The sanitary protocol, contained in the trade agreement between the two countries, provides for normal negotiations after investigation of the cases by an international laboratory, which was done in Canada.
Until September this year, China was responsible for buying 56 per cent of Brazilian beef exports.
According to a survey by the Brazilian Association of Meat Shops, the volume of Brazilian beef exports dropped 43 per cent in October when compared to the same period in 2020.