BRASIL, Brasilia. The ban from the Chinese mart is hitting the industry hard. It is feared that China is doing so to depress the world market price.
Brazil's exports suffered strongly in October as a result of the dormant China business. This is shown by current industry figures presented by the Association of Brazilian Beef Exporters and the Association of Brazilian Cold Storage Operators (Abrafrigo). According to the report, a total of around 108,000 tonnes of processed and unprocessed beef was exported from the South American country in the month under review, down 49% on September and 43% on October 2020. The associations put the value of exports at $ 541 mill. (€ 467 mill.) for October 2021, down by as much as around 54% on September. Compared with October 2020, this represents a drop of 31%.
Abrafrigo explained the slump in deliveries with China's import stop. Only a "residual export" of 27,700 t of beef was shipped there last month. ABIEC ranks the People's Republic fourth among buyers in October, after Hong Kong, Chile and the United States. As recently as August, China had been the main buyer of Brazilian beef on the world market, accounting for 58% of the total export of 210,000 t. Then in September, exports to China were suspended due to the detection of two atypical cases of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Brazil, in accordance with health protocols agreed between the two countries.
Exports had been suspended for 13 days in a similar case in 2019. In the current case, on the other hand, business has been at rest for weeks, despite now clear pressure from Brasília on Beijing. The Brazilian government has repeatedly emphasised that the atypical BSE cases have not led to any change in the BSE risk status. Market observers explain the fact that China nevertheless continues to keep the border closed with its intention to depress the price. And this strategy is likely to be successful. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the slowdown in Chinese meat imports since August has led to a decline in international meat prices, which had previously risen steadily since October 2020.
Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE