January 24, 2006


Russia may partially lift ban on Brazilian beef, pork imports



Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said Monday that the government is "optimistic" Russia would relax part of an embargo on Brazilian beef and pork currently affecting eight major meat-producing states.


In a press statement Monday afternoon, Luis Carlos Guedes Pinto, the ministry's general secretary, said he was told by Sergei Dankvert, head of Russia's service for veterinary and phytosanitary control, that Dankvert would "decide as soon as possible" to ease the ban.


Guedes is in Russia with Brazilian government animal health officials to discuss sanitary measures with Russia, the largest importer of Brazilian beef.


Guedes suggested that Russia only ban beef and pork from two states instead of eight.


Russia banned beef in October from Mato Grosso do Sul state because of the discovery of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) there. Russia increased its ban Dec 13 to seven more states, after FMD was confirmed on a ranch in Parana state.


Russia has bans on beef and pork imports from Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Goias, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states. The only state that does not border the two states infected with FMD is Rio Grande do Sul. All of the other states share borders with either Mato Grosso do Sul or Parana.


Russia is one of the biggest beef import markets in the world. In 2005, Russia imported 294,318 tonnes of Brazilian beef, over 90 percent more than the 154,238 tonnes imported in 2004, according to Brazilian government data.


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