US opens market for fresh beef from Brazil and Argentina

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Brazil already supplies processed beef to the US in significant volumes
Brazil already supplies processed beef to the US in significant volumes

Related tags Brazil States of brazil Beef

Fourteen Brazilian states have been granted access to the US market for fresh beef (chilled or frozen), following a 15-year period of trade restrictions.

Access has also been granted to imports from northern Argentina, according to an announcement by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) yesterday.

Specific conditions have been set, in order to mitigate the risk of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), with import conditions to match those already imposed on fresh beef and ovine meat from Uruguay, which has been safely imported for years, said APHIS.

Brazil already supplies processed beef to the US in significant volumes, but the opening of the market for fresh products will allow it to reach other NAFTA countries, as well as the Caribbean and Central America, noted Antonio Jorge Camardelli, president of the Brazilian Association of Beef Industry and Exporters (ABIEC) earlier this year.

According to a statement from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Katia Abreu, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, said there was expectation that Brazil could be exporting 100,000 tonnes of beef to the US, with the next five years.

Abreu is to visit Japan this week, where she is hoping to lift the ban on Brazilian beef, with talks also involving the possibility of Japan supplying Brazil with Kobe beef, according to the ministry.

The opening of the US market was welcomed by Brazilian food giant Marfrig, which said: "In conjunction with the opening of the Chinese market, it is an important step forward for the sector in Brazil and an unique opportunity for Marfrig Global Foods."

The firm said it was well-placed to benefit from the opening of the US and Chinese markets through its Keystone operations, as well as its existing experience in its Uruguay operation, which already exports beef to these two countries.

The Brazilian states which have gained access are: Bahia, Distrito Federal, Espirito Santo, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Rondonia, São Paulo, Sergipe, and Tocantis.

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