China has lifted its temporary ban on Brazilian beef imports after a 10-day suspension in trade due to the discovery of an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).
Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply announced the BSE-infected cow had been discovered on May 31, and the ban on exports to China was put in place on June 3, 2019. Brazilian officials said the 17-year-old cow was detected in Mato Grosso state, and that all the necessary material for tests was collected and the remainder of the cow was incinerated.
“No part of the animal entered the food chain, there are no risks for the population,” Brazilian officials said.
China is the only country among Brazilian importers that enforces a health protocol requiring suspension of beef imports when an atypical case of mad cow disease is reported, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said in a statement. The ministry reiterated the Brazilian government’s intention to negotiate a new health protocol with Chinese authorities to address the issue. Brazilian beef exports to other countries have not been affected.
The news of resumption of beef exports to China sent shares of Marfrig Global Foods, Minerva SA and other Brazilian meatpackers soaring on Thursday. Minerva said on Thursday it was canceling a two-week furlough of 635 employees at its beef processing plant in Barretos, São Paulo state. The Barretos plant is Minerva's only Brazilian unit authorized to export to China.
China is one of Brazil's top beef importers, buying 322,415 metric tons of Brazilian beef in 2018, according to industry association Abiec. JBS S.A., Marfrig Global Foods S.A. and Minerva S.A. are Brazil's largest beef exporters to China.