Brazilian meat exports to Shanghai have been disrupted by a lockdown due to the pandemic, with shipping lines opting to send cargos to the nearby ports of Xingang and Ningbo instead.
Shanghai is the main point of entry for Brazilian meat imports to mainland China, which is Brazil’s top trade partner.
China imported 723,370 tonnes of beef and 640,469 tonnes of chicken from Brazil in 2021 and is the largest consumer of Brazilian meat.
Since the Shanghai lockdown began in late March, containers of frozen food have backed up at the port, with inspections for incoming meat halted, according to Reuters.
One big Brazilian meat exporter cancelled the shipment of three containers, while another stopped booking new cargo.
China’s overall imports unexpectedly fell in March as Covid-19 restrictions across large parts of the country weighed on domestic demand and hampered trade.
The situation compounded the difficulties facing Brazil’s meat exporters, which have been unable to send cargos to Russia after global container lines temporarily suspended service there.
Murillo Barbosa, head of private port terminal lobby ATP, told Reuters that carriers stopped bookings to Russia in response to Western sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.
In related news, French shipping line CMA CGM is launching two new dedicated services with intermodal solutions connecting Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais in southeast Brazil to China.
“To meet the needs of our customers, CMA CGM will offer three weekly services: Seas, Seas2 and Safran services to connect Asia and Europe with Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais with rail ramp delivery in four days and seven days, respectively,” CMA CGM said in a statement.
According to the shipping line, the transit time to Rio de Janeiro is 37 days from Shanghai, 40 from Qingdao, 19 from Antwerp, and 21 from Hamburg.
From Mina Gerais, the connection takes 38 days to Shanghai, 41 to Qingdao, 30 to Antwerp, and 28 to Hamburg.