Brazilian officials expect to resume fresh beef exports to the United States in early 2018. In a news conference, Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the country will resume “very soon” beef exports to the United States. The U.S. has not made any announcements about lifting its ban on Brazilian fresh beef.
In June the U.S. suspended Brazilian fresh beef imports due to “recurring concerns about the safety of the products.” That came after the U.S. had rejected 1.9 million pounds of Brazilian beef from March to June. Brazilian authorities said the rejections were due to abscesses in meat caused by reactions to vaccinations against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
Maggi’s comments come after Brazilian industry leaders said in November they expected exports to the U.S. to resume in the first quarter of 2018, following negotiations with U.S. authorities.
Brazil is the world’s largest beef exporter, and they project shipments to grow 10% in 2018 after an increase of 9% in 2017. The export increase came despite corruption and food safety scandals that temporarily closed major markets.
A Brazilian trade group said exports are projected to reach 1.68 million tons in 2018, up from 1.53 million in 2017. Revenue is expected to rise about 11% to US $6.9 billion, after a 13% rise in 2017 to US $6.2 billion.
The bullish projections are based on expectations the U.S will lift its ban, and China certifying imports from nearly a dozen more plants, which could increase exports to China by 50%. Hong Kong, China and Russia are the leading buyers of Brazilian beef, accounting for 703,000 tons during the first 11 months of 2017.