Brazil’s agriculture minister Tereza Cristina has said that she is hopeful that Brazilian beef exports will resume to China next month.

Brazil’s department of agriculture has said that it has already forwarded all the documents requested by the Chinese authorities, who are analysing the information sent.

Last week, the department received a statement from the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) on the release of batches of Brazilian beef that had received sanitary certification until 3 September 2021.

China banned Brazilian beef on 4 September after two cases of atypical BSE were identified.

“The meat loads were already in transit to China, when Brazil identified and communicated to the Asian country two atypical cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), registered in Nova Canaã do Norte (MT) and in Belo Horizonte (MG).

“Minister Tereza Cristina explained that on 4 September, Brazil suspended beef exports to China in compliance with the protocol signed between the two countries, which determines this course of action in the case of BSE, even if in an atypical way.

“Which means that these animals developed the disease spontaneously and sporadically, not being related to the ingestion of contaminated food and not transmitting the disease between animals,” the Brazilian department has said.

‘No cause for concern’

The minister also defended that the release of these lots by the Chinese authorities represents a first step towards the resumption of regular exports to China.

“There is no cause for concern either for our consumers or for external consumers. This release alleviates our exporters who had many of these containers at sea or in ports, which will then be released to enter China.

“Now, we have a next step to release the suspension of Brazilian beef going forward. We are in progress in this process and I hope that this will happen in the next month,” Minister Cristina said.

Irish beef exports to China were suspended in 2020 following an atypical case of BSE and have yet to resume.