Brazil: Meat exports to China may help trade deficit in short term

14 April 2008

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 14 April – Meat exports could be a good option to help Brazil to reduce its trade deficit with China, the Secretary for International Relations of the Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA), Célio Porto told macauhub.

“Last year, Brazil posted a trade deficit of US$1.8 billion with China. In the first two months of the year, the trade deficit totalled US$1.4 billion. Meat is a product that could help Brazil to reduce the imbalance in trade in the short term, whilst in the medium term, other products such as coffee and dairy products should also help,” Porto said.

“Brazil is the world’s biggest exporter of beef and poultry. China, which has a large population and increased purchasing power is seen as a big market by Brazilian companies,” Porto said.

After suspending imports of Brazilian meat in 2005, due to foot and mouth disease, China has now authorised the import foe mat from some Brazilian producers.

In November 2007, China authorised imports from a further four Brazilian states: Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Acre and Rondônia.

Recently, three establishments from the state of Sao Paulo were also authorised to enter the Chinese market.

In the first two months of this year Brazilian meat exports to the Chinese market fell 81 percent but, if Hong Kong and Macau are also taken into account, Brazil’s sales rose 106 percent to reach US$181 million.

“China ends up importing Brazilian meat via Hong Kong and Macau, but we want trade to be direct and to receive direct authorisations,” he said.

The Secretary said that “efforts are being made to speed up China’s imports of meat from all over Brazil.”

“In March we were in Beijing and asked for authorisation of more imports,” he said.

“In May Brazil is expected to be considered free of foot and mouth disease, which should help especially because in the specific case of beef, a protocol has been signed to increase trade between Brazil and China, which is due to come into effect in June,” Porto added.

The MAPA expects that in August new protocols will be signed during a meeting of the Sino-Brazilian High Commission (COSBAN). (macauhub)