Brazil’s BRF seeking China’s approval during govt mission to resume exports -sources

By Nayara Figueiredo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian food processor BRF will seek China’s approval to resume chicken and pork exports from two of its plants during a Brazilian government mission to the Asian country, two sources close to the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The Brazilian government expects new approvals for Brazilian meatpacking plants to be confirmed following the arrival of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the country, who will be on a mission to China next week.

The Brazilian mission to China includes Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro, several representatives of the federal government, members of the agricultural industry and meatpacking representatives.

China is the top destination for Brazilian exports of chicken and pork meat. In 2022, the Asian country imported more than 1 million tonnes of the two proteins, generating more than $2.5 billion in foreign exchange for Brazil.

The two plants are the company’s biggest and are located in Brazil’s mid-west.

China suspended pork sales in 2021 from one of the plants, a poultry and pork processor located in Lucas do Rio Verde.

Poultry shipments to China from Lucas do Rio Verde plant were suspended in March last year.

“Questions from China’s health authorities have already been answered and now what is missing is a decision from (the Chinese),” one of the sources said.

BRF declined to comment on the possible resumptions.

The company on Thursday received approval from China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) to resume sales of chicken meat to China from its Marau plant in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. Exports to China from the plant had been suspended since 2021.

China’s approval for Marau followed four other authorizations for Brazilian beef slaughterhouses – the first new clearances since 2019.

Brazil’s agriculture ministry said on Thursday in a statement that “other companies have small pending issues with GACC, which should still be resolved during the ministry’s trip to China,” without naming the companies that could be benefited.

(This story has been refiled to correct the name of the company in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Sandra Maler)