The suspension of exports to China by some Brazilian meat producers due to Covid-19 cases is a “precautionary measure”, with temporary effects, said the Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Brazil, Qu Yuhui.
In a virtual seminar held last Thursday by the Brazil-China Business Council, the minister of the Chinese Embassy in Brazil, said his country´s interest is to maintain the stability of agricultural trade with Brazil.
Sanitary requirements are “more a precautionary measure so that there is no systemic impact on the effort to combat Covid-19”.
“Every caution is not too much, so that there is no impact on our trade in the future”, the diplomat added.
China is the largest buyer of Brazilian beef, chicken and pork.
This month Chinese government asked Brazil to suspend exports from two meat plants over concerns about novel coronavirus outbreaks in food-processing facilities in the South American country.
China had already blocked exports from six meatpacking plants in Brazil, the world’s second-hardest-hit country in the pandemic, with nearly 2 million cases of the respiratory disease.
Of the two additional plants China would like to block, one produces beef and the other processes poultry, according to Reuters, quoting a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico earlier reported the request, without citing a source.
The request, delivered in a letter to the Brazilian Embassy in Beijing, has yet to arrive in Brazil for the government to consider a response, the source said.
The letter from the Chinese authorities requested information related to 12 other meat plants, seeking to find out whether media reports of coronavirus outbreaks in those facilities were true, the person said.
In the Brazil-China Business Council event, Brazil´s Secretary of Commerce and International Relations of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ambassador Orlando Leite Ribeiro stated that 40% of Brazilian agricultural exports went to China in the first half of 2020.
“The export of soy to China corresponded to 28, 6% of the total shipped by Brazilian agribusiness to the world”, he pointed out.
The minister of the Chinese Embassy in Brazil rejected that the demand for Brazilian commodities by his country is adding to the deforestation in the Amazon forest.
According to Qu Yuhui, China is in favor of sustainable agricultural production and wants to contribute to it.
“Technology, science and innovation can increase traceability and, consequently, help with sustainability”, he said.