Brazilian beef back on track:

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 02, 2021 A customer looks at meat on display at a store in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 2 December, 2021. China, the main buyer of Brazilian beef, lifted on 15 December an embargo imposed since September after two cases of mad cow disease were detected, the Brazilian agriculture ministry and Chinese authorities said. Photo: MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP

Brazilian beef back on track: China lifts embargo

China lifted an embargo on Brazilian beef Wednesday, three months after banning meat from the South American export powerhouse over two cases of mad cow disease, authorities in both countries said.

Brazilian beef back on track:

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 02, 2021 A customer looks at meat on display at a store in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 2 December, 2021. China, the main buyer of Brazilian beef, lifted on 15 December an embargo imposed since September after two cases of mad cow disease were detected, the Brazilian agriculture ministry and Chinese authorities said. Photo: MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP

Brazil is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of beef, but it lost its top client when China imposed the embargo in September following the detection of two cases of “atypical” bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease.

‘GREEN-LIGHT’ 

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) cleared the way for Brazil to resume exports when it ruled there was “insignificant risk” from mad cow disease to human or animal health, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said.

The ban had sent share prices plunging for Brazilian meat processing companies when it was announced.

But in the end, there will be “minimal impact” on producers’ year-end results, said agriculture ministry official Orlando Leite Ribeiro.

“If there’s a decrease, it will be two percent at most,” he said.

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CHINA THE BIGGEST CONSUMER

Despite the embargo, Brazil’s beef sales to China total nearly $3.9 billion so far this year, 46% of the country’s total beef exports, the ministry said.

Last year, Brazil exported around $4 billion of beef to China, or 48% of the total.

The decision “resumes the import of boneless beef products aged under 30 months from Brazil into China,” Beijing’s General Administration of Customs said in a statement.

Brazil’s agriculture ministry said the announcement meant shipping could resume “as of today.”

With 217 million head of cattle, Brazil is home to 14.3% of Earth’s cows, and accounted for 14.4% of total beef exports worldwide last year.

© Agence France-Presse