Chinese officials have approved a draft veterinary protocol for the import of pork from Brazil according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. The agreement was announced during last week's High Level Food Safety Forum in Beijing.

"The Brazilians have been looking to gain official access to China for years; a realization of that objective is now within sight,” said USMEF Senior North China Representative Donald Song, who attended the event the forum in Beijing.

Song added there were unconfirmed reports that AQSIQ, the China's veterinary agency, would send officials as early as this week to Brazil to finalize terms of the agreement. Brazil currently has 24 poultry plants and three beef plants approved to export to China. Plant accreditation has not necessarily translated into trade, however. Direct Brazilian exports of poultry and beef to China show a declining trend, yet trade with Hong Kong has been rising sharply.

Achieving direct export eligibility to China would constitute a big victory for Brazilian pork exporters. Chinese pork prices have surged this year, and USMEF believes that many Chinese processors consider Brazil's competitive pork prices to be a good fit for the country's raw material needs. Demand for pork by all sectors and pressure to have multiple supply lines are believed to be some of the reasons why China has finally moved on Brazil's long-standing request to approve pork imports.
Through October, China’s pork imports increased 120 percent to 383,189 metric tons. Meanwhile, U.S. pork exports to China through September increased 66 percent in volume to 76,772 metric tons and 81 percent in value to 108.9 million compared to the same time last year.

Source: USMEF