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China agrees to resume imports of some Brazilian beef

Sales of Brazilian beef to China were voluntarily halted by Brazilian authorities on Feb. 23, following the discovery of an atypical case of mad cow disease.

FILE PHOTO: A worker spreads salted meat which will be dried and then packed at a plant of JBS S.A, the world's largest beef producer, in Santana de Parnaiba
A worker spreads salted meat which will be dried and then packed at a plant of JBS S.A, the world's largest beef producer, in Santana de Parnaiba, Brazil Dec. 19, 2017.
Paulo Whitaker / Reuters file photo

BEIJING/SAO PAULO, March 23 (Reuters) - China said on Thursday, March 23, it had agreed to immediately resume imports of Brazilian beef aged under 30 months, according to a statement released by China's General Administration of Customs.

Sales of Brazilian beef to China were voluntarily halted by Brazilian authorities on Feb. 23, following the discovery of an atypical case of mad cow disease.

The resumption of trade comes a day after Brazilian Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro arrived in Beijing ahead of a visit by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday.

"I am sure that this is a step for Brazil to advance with the accreditation of more Brazilian beef plants and opportunities for the livestock sector," Favaro said in a statement following a meeting with Yu Jianhua, a top Chinese customs official, to discuss the end of the ban.

According to Brazilian beef trade group Abiec, a total of 37 plants in the country are authorized to sell beef products to China at this time.

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Lula will visit China accompanied by a delegation of 240 business representatives, including 90 from the agriculture sector.

Shares in Brazilian beefpacker Minerva were up roughly 4.8% in morning trade, making it the leading gainer of the benchmark Bovespa index. Rival JBS SA, with a much more diversified export base, rose 1.8%.

Brazil also aims to renegotiate sanitary protocols under which a single mad cow case triggers an export ban for the whole country. Beef producers in Brazil lose up to $25 million per day with the embargo in place.

Some 62% of Brazil's beef exports went to China last year.

(Reporting by Andrew Hayley, Ningwei Qin and Ana Mano in Sรฃo Paulo; Editing by Mark Potter and Marguerita Choy)

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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