Limited domestic output and rising per-capita incomes are pushing beef-hungry China to import the high-protein, low-fat meat in increasing quantities from Brazil. About a year after recovering from a scare related to mad cow disease, Brazil has supplanted Australia as the biggest seller of beef to China…Full Article: China Daily Aug 2016

Key Points

  • From January to June 2016, Brazilian beef suppliers (e.g. JBS SA, Minerva Foods, and Marfrig Global Foods) saw their exports to China increase by 65% year-on-year.
  • From 2006 to 2016, according to the OECD, Chinese per-capita consumption of beef increased from 3.029 kg to 3.864 kg.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In April 2016, China’s Foresun Group agreed to purchase three beef abattoirs and a livestock confinement unit in Argentina from Brazil’s Margrif Global Foods.
  • In 2015, mainland China imported 467,143 MTs of frozen beef, with Australia (149,245 MTs) and Uruguay (123,206 MTs) supplying the most. At the same time, Hong Kong imported 279,760 MTs of beef, with Brazil (142,889 MTs) and the USA (100,923 MTs) supplying the most. It should be noted, in 2015, Brazil reported exports of frozen (boneless) beef totaling 163,639 MTs to Hong Kong and 97,478 MTs to mainland China.
  • In May 2015, China lifted its 2012 Brazilian beef embargo.
  • In March 2015, nine Brazilian meat processors received were grant approval by China to export beef and chicken to the mainland.
  • By the end of 2014, Brazil was expected to have 17 Chinese approved abattoirs (i.e. slaughterhouses that can export to mainland China). Brazilian beef exports were expected to begin in earnest during the first half of December 2014.
  • In November 2014, China officially ended the ban on Brazilian beef.
  • In July 2014, mainland China temporarily suspended its ban on Brazilian beef.
  • In March 2014, the Chairman of JBS (Brazilian meat group) stated that his company intends to increase its sales to China by 20% in 2014, particularly with the exports of second and first-rate beef.
  • In 2013, Hong Kong imported US$1.44 billion worth of Brazilian beef.
  • In December 2012, mainland China banned Brazilian beef imports due to a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or ‘mad cow’) in Paraná state, southern Brazil.
  • In 2002, Hong Kong’s per capita consumption of beef totaled 23.3 grams per day or approximately 8.5 kgs per year.

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