October 17, 2003



Brazil Needs to Get China's Approval On Meat & Soy Exports


Brazil will send a team of scientists to China this month to clinch approval of two issues. Firstly, get China's consent to start exporting meat to the country's retailers; secondly to resolve delays in exports of soybeans to China, world's biggest importer of the crop.


Brazil now ships less than 10,000 metric tons of poultry and beef a year to Chinese food processors in a trial aimed at getting clearance to boost the volume by selling to retailers, Trade Minister Luiz Fernando Furlan told reporters in Beijing.


Furlan met officials at Bailian Group, Shanghai's largest supermarket operator, to discuss the opportunities of marketing Brazilian food products in China supermarkets. Specialists from China's agriculture department will meet with Brazilian counterparts to address concerns over the safety of the meat.


Exchanges between Brazil and China, including this week's visit by Furlan, are part of an effort to expand technological transfers and trade in agriculture, aviation and textiles. Brazil is also pushing for approval to export oranges and other fruit to China, and plans to import Chinese pears and lychees in return, Furlan said.


"I understand there has been an unofficial ban on soybean imports," which will likely be on the agenda when Brazil's agricultural specialists visit Beijing at the end of this month, the minister said. "This has caused delays in shipments, but the overall volume hasn't been affected."


China has banned soybean imports from some of the world's biggest suppliers due to their belief that the soybeans contain fungal disease.