China granted export licenses to 25 Brazilian meatpacking plants, allowing the country’s fast-growing protein industry to feed more people in the Asian nation where disease has hurt local supply, Reuters reports, citing Brazil’s agriculture ministry.
The plants – including 17 for beef exports, six for chicken, and one each for pork and donkey meat – “can already export immediately”, the ministry said.
China is Brazil’s largest export market for beef, chicken and pork, with demand surging since last year as an African swine fever outbreak has decimated China’s pig herds.
Brazilian pork exports to China soared 48 percent in the first eight months of the year, according to Brazil government statistics, while beef exports to China are up 17 percent and chicken exports rose soared 37 percent.
Orlando Ribeiro, trade and foreign relations secretary at Brazil’s agriculture ministry, said at an event in Sao Paulo that the government would welcome additional plant approvals, suggesting the country might be able to streamline the evaluation process by “pre-listing” some meatpacking plants, a move that requires Beijing’s approval.
Under that system, the Brazilian government would create and audit a list of potential suppliers to China who could be pre-approved if they meet that country’s sanitary and quality requirements, he said.
The expanded opportunity in China comes as Brazil’s meatpackers face tougher scrutiny from markets such as Europe over how a boom in cattle ranching has contributed to deforestation and fires in the Amazon rainforest and other sensitive habitats.
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