Brazil is one of the world’s leading exporters of beef

Brazil is one of the world’s leading exporters of beef

Brazilian beef back on Saudi tables

January, 2016

Brazil's  meat industry was elated following the lifting of a ban by Saudi Arabia on the import of Brazilian beef.

The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), effectively drawing to a close the ban that has been in force for almost three years. A sanitary certificate was handed by Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture Katia Abreu to the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

The signing came following her attendance at the fourth Brazil-Arab Countries Business Forum held in Riyadh. The minister noted that the MoU could lead to imports of $150 million worth of beef annually, a conservative estimate as in 2012, the last year Brazil shipped its beef to the kingdom, sales amounted to $156 million.

The ban on Brazilian beef imports was imposed following a report that an animal with symptoms of mad cow disease had died in the Brazilian state of Paraná in 2010, although the animal in question was proven to not have developed the actual condition. News of the ban being lifted has greatly encouraged the market, with meat companies now aiming to return to the 2012 export level of around 36,000 tonnes, according to the CEO of the Brazilian Meat Exporting Industries Association (Abiec), Fernando Sampaio.

Sampaio also noted that meat importers might be able to charge higher prices compared to pre-ban rates to adjust to market inflation following the influx of Australian beef imports. He added that the move of Saudi Arabia might encourage other Gulf countries such as Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain that have also banned beef imports, to explore the possibility of opening their market to Brazil, as these imports could potentially amount to 40,000 tonnes a year.

Dr. Michel Alaby, secretary general and CEO, Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, said: “Brazil and the Arab World have always had strong business and economic relations, and this agreement to lift the ban on beef exports will greatly help facilitate stronger trade ties between them. This initiative will surely open doors for many vendors, exporters and business owners in the country and we look forward to exploring the wide range of opportunities that this will bring.”


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