EU suspends Brazilian beef imports31 January 2008
According to Meatingplace.com, the European Union has yet to authorize any Brazilian farms to export beef to the EU under new rules that go into effect on January 31. ‘At this stage there will be no holdings authorized to export to the EU', EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou told reporters. ‘Of course, this can change in the next few days. But as of January 31, there will be no list.'
In December, the EU mandated that beef imports from Brazil only come from a list of approved Brazilian beef operations. The EU was expecting to approve about 300 farms, but Brazil presented a list of about 2,600 for inspection. ‘We sell to 184 countries, and the EU represents only 21% in volume and 31% in revenue. This embargo causes harm and unemployment, but Brazil will not break because of this', Marcus Vinicius Pratini de Moraes, president of Abiec (Brazilian Exporters Association) told Meatingplace.com. Brazil is the world's largest beef exporter. In 2007, Brazil exported 2.53 million metric tons worth $4.42 billion to all destinations. Shipments to the EU totalled 543,500 metric tons worth $1.4 billion. ‘The restrictions are only for frozen and fresh beef, but Brazil can expand its exports of processed beef', said José Vicente Ferraz, consultant of Agra FNP. JBS SA, Brazil's largest beef exporter, said in a statement they now expect beef prices in Europe to rise, which would benefit their operations in Argentina, Australia and the United States. Surplus beef designated for Europe could also be absorbed by the domestic market in Brazil, JBS director of investor relations Sergio Longo said. Marfrig, Brazil's second largest beef exporter, said European demand for Brazilian cooked frozen beef exports remains high. ‘Marfrig is already expanding its Pampeano unit in the State of Rio Grande do Sul in order to double its current production capacity of 117 metric tons of processed beef per day', Ricardo Florence, the company's director of investor relations, said.