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Brazilian Pork Faces Barriers in Argentina Again

27 September 2012, at 8:47am

BRAZIL and ARGENTINA - Pork exports from Brazil to Argentina have again hit barriers, just four months after the agreement between the two countries to restore the flow of trade.

According to Pedro de Camargo Neto, president of Abipecs, the Brazilian association which brings together the industrial exporters segment, three weeks ago businesses were suspended.

"The Argentine government is not releasing import declarations. This month only we are continuing with the purchases that had already been approved," he said.

In the first months of this year, imports of pork from Brazil fell from 4,000 tons per month to just 94 tons, recorded in May. An agreement between the governments of the two countries last month saw the export of 3,500 tons from Brazil into Argentina.

A walkout in the Camargo Neto sought to make the secretary of Brazilian Foreign Trade, Tatiana Prazeres, to address the issue.

These companies have pledged to send information to the Brazilian government over the pace of pork exported. The Brazilian government intends to proceed cautiously on the issue.

The understanding of industry officials in the trade area is that with the normalisation of Russian imports of Brazilian pork, the trend is that exports of prok from Brazil to Argentina will go down.

According to Ghosn, the exporters are being informed by importers that the Argentine government would have started selective retribution due to the resistance of Brazil in opening the local market to crustaceans.

Argentina produces crawfish but the Brazilian market has been closed to imports since 1999. The Argentine government has increased pressure on the Brazil due to the fishing industry crisis in Argentina. This year, according to data from the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture, there was a 24 per cent drop in sales of shellfish exports between January and August this year compared with 2011.

According Martín Gyldenfeldt, director of CAICHA in Argentina, "what was agreed is the entry of Brazilian pork to serve as raw materials for our industry. But what has been observed is buying in increasing volumes of manufactured products, finished products, such as baked ham, for example."

The pig industry in Argentina is structurally dependent on imports. The country annually produces about 300 tons of pork, for an apparent consumption of 360 thousand tons. The demand is met by 85 per cent in Brazil. The remainder is divided between Chile and Denmark, which supplies Argentina with smoked products.