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Key Topic – Brazil Beef Access

Brazil — On Aug. 1, 2016, USDA announced that Brazil is reopening to exports of U.S. beef for the first time since the first U.S. BSE case was confirmed in December 2003. The news release also noted that in a separate decision, FSIS recently determined that the United States can safely import fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from Brazil.

USMEF provided an overview of how these decisions are likely to affect U.S. beef exports and imports in this Export Newsline article.

In September 2016, the first Brazilian plants were cleared to ship chilled and frozen beef to the United States. From January through April 2017, U.S. imports of fresh/frozen beef from Brazil totaled 3,561 metric tons (mt) valued at $14.6 million. More than half of this four-month total (1,797 mt) arrived in April.

UPDATE: Near the end of 2016, the FSIS Export Library was updated to include U.S. beef, beef products and beef offals as being eligible for Brazil. An export certificate was also published. At that time, some U.S. establishments were added to the eligible plant list for Brazil. Once these plants worked through the label registration process for Brazil they were able ship product, and USDA recently announced that the first shipments of U.S. beef have arrived in Brazil. Demand will be strong for U.S. picanha – the top sirloin cap, or coulotte – USMEF also expects some demand for U.S. livers. Other items of interest for Brazilian buyers include short ribs, chuck flaps, tri tips, strip loin, outside and inside skirts and chuck eye roll.

UPDATE: On June 22, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the suspension of all imports of fresh/frozen beef from Brazil due to recurring concerns about product safety. In a press release, USDA states that the suspension will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action that USDA finds satisfactory.

UPDATE: From late April 2017 through the end of June, U.S. beef exports to Brazil totaled 412 mt of muscle cuts and 651 mt of variety meat, at a combined value of $2.6 million.