September 28, 2023
Colombia gains approval to export beef to China
Major South American beef exporter, Minerva Foods, said that Colombia's Agriculture Ministry has officially given its nod to the health protocol required for opening the Chinese market to Colombian beef exports, The Brazilian Report reported.
With the bureaucratic processes nearing completion, China is poised to become the primary destination for Colombian beef, according to brokerage firm XP, which conveyed this development in a note to its clients.
XP said that the ability to ship across the Pacific is another positive differentiator, although some key information is still unclear, such as (i) the age of cattle (e.g., Brazil has a 30-month age limit, Uruguay and Argentina none); (ii) self-imposed bans in cases of atypical BSE (as in Brazil), and (iii) the list of approved plants (they expect at least one from Minerva)."
Despite possessing a substantial cattle herd of 29.6 million, surpassing that of Australia, Colombia's role in the global beef trade remains relatively minor. The majority of its production is consumed domestically, with 41% of exports headed to Russia, followed by Chile at 18%.
China, with its population exceeding 1.4 billion, is the world's largest beef market. In 2022, China imported around 3.5 million metric tonnes of beef.
Colombian beef producers will encounter formidable competition from industry giants Brazil and Argentina, as highlighted in a recent report by the US Department of Agriculture.
Minerva, in its market announcement, disclosed that it holds exposure to the Chinese market through eight production units, boasting a combined slaughter capacity of approximately 12,000 head of cattle per day. These units comprise three plants in Brazil, four in Uruguay, and one in Argentina.
Minerva's recent acquisitions have positioned it as the second-largest beef processor in Brazil and the leading meat producer in Uruguay.
- The Brazilian Report