Russia Adds Two Brazilian States to Its Safe-Beef List

While dozens of countries continue to ban Brazilian beef due to foot and mouth disease, Russia authorized the importation of beef, pork, and poultry from packing plants located in two more Brazilian states: Rondônia and Tocantins.

The decision, according to information furnished by the Secretariat of International Agribusiness Relations in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, is the result of a visit to Brazil by Russian technical specialists between May and July.

Russia already imports meat from the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Goiás, and Mato Grosso do Sul and constitutes Brazil’s chief international market for this product.

From January to October of this year, meat exports to Russia have earned Brazil US$ 734 million.

About 50 countries, including Russia, have imposed restrictions to the importation of beef from Brazil, since an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, in October.

While some nations extended their embargo to the whole of Brazil and some times to pork, poultry and even agricultural products, Russia limited its ban to beef from Mato Grosso do Sul.

Exports of Brazilian beef in natura to Russia from January to September of this year totaled US$ 406.1 million, an increase of 141% over the same period last year. That makes Russia the biggest importer of raw beef from Brazil.

For the sake of comparison, Russia imports twice what the second biggest importer does – Egypt, with US$ 205 million. Other big importers: Holland with US$ 154.9 million, followed by the United Kingdom (US$ 153.8 million), Chile (US$ 136.6 million) and Italy (US$ 121.3 million).

Total exports for the period of raw beef reached US$ 1.93 billion, up 34% over January to September 2004. Prices of beef on international markets have risen 2.4% this year.

With regard to canned (industrialized) beef products, exports totaled almost US$ 430 million, up 20.7% over the same period last year.

The biggest importer is the United States with US$ 125.5 million, followed by the United Kingdom with US$ 101.3 million (up 7% over last year) and Venezuela with US$ 34.2 million (up 210%).

Prices of canned beef products have fallen 5.7% on international markets this year.

ABr

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