China suspends chicken imports from 2 Brazilian facilities

China suspends chicken imports from 2 Brazilian facilities

The Chinese government has said nothing about the reason for suspending imports of chicken meat from 2 Brazilian processing facilities, namely Bello Alimentos, in Itaquiraí city, at Mato Grosso do Sul, and São Salvador Alimentos, in Itaberaí, at Goias state.

The General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) published these restrictions on Monday, 31 January, without information regarding when business might resume or the reason for the decision.

The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa) confirmed the suspension and highlighted, however, that it “disagrees with the decision adopted by the Chinese health authority”.

According to the statement, Brazil “will present technical information to reverse the suspension” to GACC, the Chinese government agency responsible for enabling exporting establishments and which also controls goods at customs.

Previous disruptions to imports

Previously, in December, China has suspended chicken meat shipments from BRF’s unit in Marau, Rio Grande do Sul state. In August, the country also suspended imports of pork and poultry from the BRF facility in Lucas do Rio Verde.

The Asian country has since 2020 suspended purchases from several countries. The justification might be greater health control due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

ABPA (Brazilian Association of Animal Protein) said that it supports the Brazilian government and affected companies during negotiations for a “rapid restoration of China’s approval”.

The entity also reaffirmed the “high quality and sanitary standards established by its members, as well as in the Brazilian sanitary control system”.

No significant impact

For ABPA, the Chinese decision does not result in “significant impacts” for Brazilian chicken meat exports. Today, 43 plants associated to ABPA canexport chicken meat to China.

In 2021, chicken meat exports rose 9% to 4.6 million tonnes, according to the ABPA. China was the main buyer, importing more than 640,000 mt.

South Africa anti-dumping

On another front, the entity refutes South Africa´s accusation and provisional measures regarding the anti-dumping investigation against chicken exporters from several countries.

“Brazilian exporters do not dump in South Africa, nor in the more than 140 countries they export to and assist in food safety,” said ABPA through an official note. South Africa was the 6th main poultry importer from Brazil in 2021 with 297,000 mt imported, which is 13.39% more than the previous year.

The investigation, which began in February 2021, encompasses exports from Brazil, Ireland, Spain, Poland and Denmark, and imposes additional tariffs for 6 months. Even before, South Africa already practised high import duties on chicken meat.

This is the second time South Africa has imposed this measure against Brazilian chicken meat. In 2011, the same argument was used. On this occasion, Brazil initiated bilateral consultations with the World Trade Organization (WTO), which confirmed the absence of dumping. In return, WTO imposed a setback to the original South African allegation.

“At the same time, given the long and solid commercial relationship between Brazil and South Africa, ABPA hopes South African authorities to review its decision that directly impacts South African consumers in a difficult time for global food security, in the midst of a pandemic,” finishes the note.

Daniel Azevedo Freelance journalist Brazil
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