China lifts its ban on Brazilian beef; so too do Chile and Egypt

China’s lifting of its temporary ban on Brazilian beef has been described as a “categorical statement of the quality of Brazilian sanitary system” by Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi.

News has emerged that China has re-opened it markets to Brazilian beef. Similar decisions have reportedly been made by both Chile and Egypt. This turnaround in international sentiment has come about, just days after the decision had been been made to put a temporary ban in place – in response to the Brazilian meat scandal that unfolded just over a week ago.

According to Reuters, the crisis had “wiped one-fifth off the value of Brazil’s pork and poultry exports last week”.

In a statement, Minister Maggi explained: “China never closed the market to our products, but only took preventive measures so that we had the opportunity to offer all the necessary explanations and to guarantee the quality of our sanitary inspection. We are grateful for the gesture of confidence from China, our strategic partner, in the credibility of the Brazilian system.”

While Egypt and Chile have also lifted their ‘temporary’ bans, Chile has reportedly maintained a ‘suspension’ on imports from the 21 specific processors targeted in Operation Weak Flesh – the investigation carried out by the authorities in Brazil.

A myriad of countries had imposed bans just days ago

As recently as Wednesday, March 22, a myriad of countries had followed China’s lead in imposing bans on meat imports from Brazil.

Hong Kong, the second-largest importer of meat from Brazil in 2016, had followed China’s lead – and was joined by the likes of Japan, Canada, Switzerland and Mexico.

Last week, in its response to the crisis, the EU Commission had asked Brazil’s government to stop all meat consignments from specific companies highlighted in the so-called ‘rotten meat’ scandal.

Also Read: EU blocks imports from 4 Brazilian meat plants, as crisis unfolds

A Commission spokesperson had confirmed to Agriland that four of the businesses implicated in the affair had EU export accreditation, adding: “There were intensive diplomatic discussions entered into between the EU and Brazilian authorities.”