China and the European Union curtailed meat imports from Brazil on Monday [20 March 2017] after police, in an anti-corruption probe criticized by the government as alarmist, accused inspectors in the world’s biggest exporter of beef and poultry of taking bribes to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats…Full Article: China Daily Mar 2017

Brazil’s JBS, the largest meat processing company in the world, has said it would shut the production of beef at 33 of its 36 plants in the country for three days…Full Article: Xinhua Mar 2017

China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) decided to recall all the frozen and chilled meat and poultry imported from the 21 Brazilian plants that are under investigation for a massive meat adulteration scheme, the food safety authority said Friday [24 March 2017]…Full Article: China.org.cn Mar 2017

Key Points

  • After a two year investigation, Brazil’s Federal Police stated that BRF S.A. (formerly Brasil Foods), JBS S.A., and dozens of smaller meatpacking companies violated food safety regulations (i.e. masking rotten meat with chemicals, falsifying expiration dates, injecting water in poultry meat), and bribed food inspectors and export officials.
  • As a result of the revelations, the Brazilian government has imposed a temporary export ban on 21 meatpacking factories. Hong Kong noted that it had issued import licenses to six of the 21 factories and has since instituted a recall on those products.

ChinaAg Comments

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

Hong Kong Trends

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