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China approves 13 Brazilian meat packers for exports

Chinese authorities approved new Brazilian meat exporting plants on Tuesday (12 November), a highly anticipated move as the two nations continue to strengthen trade ties.

13 November 2019, at 10:00am

The approvals come as China seeks to increase meat imports to compensate for the death of around half of its pig herd from African swine fever.

Brazil is a major supplier to China. In the 10 months through October, Brazilian meatpackers exported nearly $3 billion of poultry, beef and pork byproducts to the Asian nation, according to data compiled by industry groups Abiec and ABPA.

The list of units approved this week - 13 in total - features five pork, five beef and three poultry plants, according to the ministry's statement.

Four of the facilities are owned by JBS SA or its subsidiary Seara, one is owned by BRF SA and two are owned by Marfrig Global Foods SA, the ministry said.

Industry group ABPA, which represents poultry and pork processors in Brazil, welcomed the news.

"It sets the tone of the partnership that China and Brazil are building to guarantee food security and the expansion of trade in the run-up to the BRICS nation summit," ABPA President Francisco Turra said in a statement, referring to the BRICs summit in Brazil this week.

The approvals raise the total number of pork plants authorised to export to China to 16. The total number of chicken plants with permission to sell to China is now 46, ABPA said.