Those who follow the news from the agro market remember that last week cattle breeders were tense because of registered cases of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, popularly known as “mad cow disease”, in Minas Gerais and Mato Grosso. China immediately suspended imports. The decision is provided for in the agreement signed between the two countries when there is a positive identification of the disease.
After the initial scare, it was proven that the cases were atypical, when encephalopathy develops in the animals’ own bodies. But even after the release of the report by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), exports to China remain suspended. And, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, there is no forecast for the resumption of purchases.
For the time being, exporting slaughterhouses continue to wait for a position from China and hope for a quick response. Stocks destined for the foreign market have not yet been relocated to Brazilian consumers. If the suspension continues for longer, it is possible that this meat will be offered domestically – and prices are expected to drop momentarily.
Saudi Arabia also announced on Tuesday (14) the suspension of purchases of Brazilian beef after the positive identification of the two cases of the disease. Although it is more important as a buyer of chicken meat, the Arab country could end up motivating similar attitudes from other nations.
In this impasse, some slaughterhouses decided to give collective vacations to their employees until the situation was regularized.
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