Brazilian pork exports in March and April fell 3% and 16%, respectively, compared with the same months last year, following the Brazilian tainted-meat scandal, which exploded in mid-March.
This came after positive movements in export volumes in January and February, according to AHDB Pork.
In March police divulged that health inspectors had been bribed to certify meat no longer fit for consumption and that additives were used to mask problems in the produce.
As a result of the police disclosure, exports from at least 21 meat processors under investigation were stopped, and 63 people allegedly involved in the scandal were arrested.
Several key markets for Brazilian pork (most notably China and Hong Kong) temporarily denied access to Brazilian meat products,.
In March, shipments of Brazilian pork to China and Hong Kong were down 24% and 27% year-on-year, respectively. This reflects the period of around a week when a total ban on imported Brazilian meat was enforced. Based on updated information from Brazilian authorities, some countries that had enforced a ban (including China) have withdrawn their restrictions. Other destinations, including Hong Kong, kept restrictions on plants that were under investigation.
Despite the lifting of restrictions by most of the countries that had imposed a ban, Brazilian pork exports remained 16% lower year-on-year in April, driven by substantial declines in shipments to Hong Kong (41%) and China (59%). Shipments to both markets also decreased compared with March.
The downturn may be due to importers switching to alternative suppliers both during and beyond the ban, the pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said.