RIO DE JANEIRO – China has authorized 25 new industrial plants in the country to ship products to the Asian market, the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture said Monday.
They have been added to 64 centers already enabled to export products to China, one of Brazil’s largest meat importers.
The move is expected to lead to a sharp jump in shipments from Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of meats.
The authorization of the new establishments was confirmed in a statement from the sanitary inspection body of the Chinese Government to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil.
Establishments have been authorized to start exports immediately, of which 17 were beef producers, six chicken meat, one pig meat and one donkey meat.
The new ratings were negotiated on a trip that Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Tereza Cristina da Costa Dias made last May to several countries in Asia, including China, to expand the reach of Brazilian agricultural products.
The negotiations will be reinforced during a trip that Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro plans to carry out next month to China and other Asian countries.
Although Bolsonaro criticized Brazil’s business with China during last year’s election campaign, after assuming the mandate he recognized the importance of the Asian country as Brazil’s main trading partner.
The Chinese authorization of the new Brazilian plants came at a time when some European importers have threatened to impose restrictions on meat from the South American giant if the Bolsonaro government does not meet environmental commitments.
The threat was due to a sharp jump in deforestation and forest fires in the Amazon this year, which environmentalists and some European leaders attributed to the anti-environmental rhetoric of the Brazilian leader.
Brazil exported 1.64 million tons of beef last year, 11% more than the previous year and a world record in volume, according to data from the Brazilian Association of Meat Exporting Industries.
Shipments generated revenues to Brazil of $6.57 billion, 7.9% more than $6.09 billion in 2017.
The main destinations of Brazilian beef last year in volume were Hong Kong, China and Egypt.
In revenue the main customer was China, which paid $1.49 billion for beef imported from Brazil last year.
China imports another $1 billion in pork and chicken from Brazil annually.