Brazil’s meat exports hit by restrictions from 4 major meat importers

Brazil’s meat exports hit by restrictions from 4 major meat importers

China, EU, Chile, Hong Kong have temporarily suspended the meat shipments.

The Dollar Business Bureau 

Some of the world’s biggest meat consuming countries have slapped restrictions on meat being exported from Brazil’s food conglomerates JBS S.A. and ERF. China, EU, Chile, Hong Kong have temporarily suspended the meat shipments from the country as news reports from Brazil’s federal authorities revealed bribery investigations into the approval of spoiled meat. Other countries like Singapore, South Korea and Qatar were guarded and monitoring the meat shipments arriving from the South American country official news reports revealed.

Brazil’s federal authorities revealed five days ago, that the investigations are continuing on the allegations that JBS S.A. and BRE S.A. had bribed government officials to endorse the sale and export of contaminated meat. Some of the meat including cold cuts and sausages were adulterated with ingredients from pig heads and some of the tainted meat smells were masked using acid. A high-ranking Brazilian judicial official entrusted with the task of overseeing the investigation was quoted in a court order saying, “It seems like magic realism. Unfortunately, it is not”!

Following the release of this news, China was quick to react saying it would not accept any meat shipments from Brazil until its government provided clarification on the investigations. The two largest importing countries of meat Hong Kong and China, account for a combined 35% of beef and 17% of the chicken shipped from that country. Last year China overtook Brazil as the largest beef and veal consuming nation with both the countries accounting for 13% of global demand.

South Korea in its official release said that a temporary ban placed on the chicken imports from the BRF was lifted as the products that BRF shipped were from plants that were not contaminated.

An EU spokesperson confirmed that ‘companies implicated in the probe had been suspended from exporting to the EU’. EU countries are the second biggest destination for beef and the third biggest for chicken accounting for less than 10% of the total shipments.

This scandal might put restraints on Brazil’s plans to serve new markets for beef like South Korea and Mexico after the US last year allowed imports of fresh meat, head of Brazil meat exporter’s association told the media in SaoPaulo. But the US Meat Export Federation spokesperson refused to comment on the scandal’s impact on global meat trade saying it was too early to speculate.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Mar 22, 2017 12:00 IST