China is expected to authorize about 20 Brazilian slaughterhouses to export meat to the country by the end of this month, according to sources heard by the Brazilian outlet Globo Rural. According to two of them, the Brazilian authorities predict the decision will be made by this Saturday (February 3rd). A third source said the country should wait until the end of the Chinese New Year, a festivity that goes from February 10 to 17.
The Chinese authorities audited 44 Brazilian plants in the last two months, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. The list includes both plants of companies that already export to the country from other units and companies that will debut in this market.
In a recent interview, the Ministry’s Secretary of Commerce and International Relations, Roberto Perosa, stated that if half of the audited plants were authorized, it would be a record. The technical reports of the inspections have already been sent by the Chinese to the Brazilian government and to the inspected companies for corrections. “The audit is to point out the smallest details and to have them addressed,” he said.
Alcides Torres, owner of Scot Consultoria, told Globo Rural that the new authorizations tend to prevent an increase in the price of the exported ton to China and, consequently, the price of the arroba of the fed cattle that serves the Chinese market. However, the authorization of slaughterhouses in the interior of the country may raise the prices paid for animals raised for this market (“Boi China”) in these regions at times of limited supply.
Brazil is also negotiating the revision of the sanitary protocol for the occurrence of mad cow disease. The intention is to avoid the interruption of beef trade when atypical cases of the disease, which do not pose sanitary risks, are reported – as occurred in 2023.
There is great expectation from the Brazilian side for the advancement of bilateral relations with China, which will complete 50 years in 2024. The Brazilian vice-president, Geraldo Alckmin, is expected to go to Beijing in the middle of the year and the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, will come to Brazil for the G20 meetings.
The Chinese market has assumed a strategic role for Brazilian agribusiness in recent decades, moving from a participation of only 2.73% as a destination for sector exports in 2000, to 36.1% last year, the highest percentage in the historical series of the Ministry of Agriculture.