Brazil calls for beef to be included in Mercosur deal

Brazil has used this month’s G20 summit to call for beef to be included in any trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur trading bloc of which it’s a member.

In a meeting with the Commissioner of the European Union Trade, Cecilia Malmström, the Brazilian Minister of Industry, Trade and Services, Marcos Pereira, highlighted the exchange offers between Mercosur and the European Union held in May and he stressed the importance for Brazil of the inclusion of beef and ethanol, which were left out of the negotiation.

Cecilia Malmström signaled, however, that the application will be considered as the negotiations move forward. Marcos Pereira praised the negotiating meeting held in Montevideo in June, after the exchange offers, and confirmed the resumption of meetings of the Trade Committee set Brazil-European Union.

Asked if the UK out of the European Union would hinder the negotiations, the Commissioner of Commerce denied any setback.

She said that “there are more questions than answers” on the issue and that the conclusion of “Brexit” can take up to two years. Until then, the European Union remains negotiating as a bloc of 28 countries.

Last month the EU made its first trade deal offer to Mercosur countries and it’s understood that the offer did not include beef quotas as had previously been feared.

It had been speculated that as part of the negotiations a significant increase in a tariff-free quota (TRQ) for beef was to be included in the EU initial offer to the South Amercian nations.

This would cut the import price for beef and would allow greater volumes of South American beef into the EU market. However, after to widespread lobbying by farm organisations across Europe the beef TRQs were not included.

The IFA says that any new tariff rate quota (TRO) to Mercosur will be used to import high-value steak cuts.

Of the total 8m tonne EU beef market, high-value steak cuts account for only 560,000t. While steak cuts make up a small percentage of the carcase volume, they can account for up to 40% of the carcase value.

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