China suspends chicken imports from 2 Brazilian facilities
The Chinese government has not said anything about the reason for the suspension of chicken meat imports from 2 Brazilian processing plants, namely Bello Alimentos, in the city of Itaquiraí, Mato Grosso do Sul, and São Salvador Alimentos , in Itaberaí, in the state of Goias.
The General Administration of China Customs (GACC) issued the restrictions on Monday, January 31, without information on when business might resume or the reason for the decision.
The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa) confirmed the suspension and however stressed that it “does not agree with the decision adopted by the Chinese health authority” .
According to the statement, Brazil “will submit technical information to lift the suspension” to the GACC, the Chinese government agency responsible for authorizing exporting establishments and which also checks goods at customs.
Previous import interruptions
Earlier, in December, China suspended shipments of chicken meat 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 factory in Lucas do Rio Verde.
The Asian country has since 2020 suspended purchases from several countries. The justification could be greater health control due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
ABPA (Brazilian Animal Protein Association) said it supports the Brazilian government and affected companies in 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 the ABPA, the Chinese decision does not lead to “significant impacts” on Brazilian chicken meat exports. Today, 43 ABPA-associated factories can export chicken meat to China.
In 2021, chicken meat exports increased by 9% to 4.6 million tonnes, according to the ABPA. China was the main buyer, importing more than 640,000 tonnes.
Anti-dumping in South Africa
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 to which they export and contribute to food security,” the ABPA said in an official note. South Africa was Brazil’s 6th largest poultry importer in 2021 with 297,000 tonnes imported, 13.39% more than the previous year.
The investigation, which began in February 2021, covers exports from Brazil, Ireland, Spain, Poland and Denmark, and imposes additional customs duties for 6 months. Even before, South Africa already had high import duties on chicken meat.
This is the second time that 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, the WTO imposed a reversal on the original South African claim.
“At the same time, given the long and solid commercial relationship between Brazil and South Africa, the ABPA hopes that the South African authorities will reverse its decision which directly impacts South African consumers in a period difficult for global food security, in the midst of a pandemic,” the note concludes.