28 March 2023
Exactly four weeks after the suspension of beef exports from Brazil to China, the General Administration of Customs announced that it was enabled again as of March 23.
The official statement from China states that “the General Administration of Customs attaches great importance to this, conducted multiple rounds of technical consultations with the Brazilian side, and organized experts to carry out a risk assessment on the disease control and prevention system.” the mad cows of Brazil. After the evaluation, Brazil’s mad cow disease prevention and control system meets China’s relevant sanitary and quarantine requirements, and it was decided to allow Brazil to resume the export of boneless beef under 30 months to China from March 23, 2023.”
This time the suspension strictly complied with what the protocol between the two countries indicates and lasted for four weeks, not one day more nor one less.
Brazil is the source of about half of the beef exported to China. The other two main providers are Argentina and Uruguay.
In the week to March 18, Brazilian beef exports had begun to reflect the absence of shipments to China. According to information from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Trade (Secex), only 22,380 tons were exported at a daily rate of 4,476, far from the 8,428 tons per day of the previous business days in March, when exporters were still shipping meat with production date prior to February 23, when the suspension took effect.
During the suspension of Brazil, the Chinese market did not show major changes, which suggested that importers did not consider the possibility that the measure would apply for an extended period, as happened in 2021. At that time, Brazil was out of China for more than 100 days, which determined a great impact on prices in the first half of 2022.
Given that the suspension of Brazil did not determine an upward impact on export prices to that destination, it seems unlikely that its return will lead to downward pressure on prices.