China, Peru, Iran Lift Restrictions on Brazilian Beef

In addition to regaining direct access to China (click for more details) news outlets have reported that Peru and Iran are also removing restrictions on Brazilian beef. These measures were imposed following the May 5 announcement of Brazil’s second BSE case.

While Peru’s restrictions on Brazilian beef were state-specific (Brazil’s December 2012 and May 2014 BSE cases were found in the states of Paraná and Mato Grosso, respectively), they have had a pronounced impact on Brazil’s exports to Peru. With Mato Grosso being Brazil’s largest cattle-producing state, June exports to Peru fell to zero. Exports from January through May were just 1,619 metric tons (mt) as volumes were still recovering from restrictions imposed after the BSE case in Paraná was confirmed. By comparison, Brazil’s exports to Peru during the same period in 2012 were nearly double that total at 3,260 mt.

The United States is Peru’s leading beef/beef variety meat supplier with U.S. exports through May totaling 5,095 mt – down 18 percent from a year ago, but with export value steady at $13.3 million. Other beef suppliers serving Peru include Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Iran’s restrictions on Brazilian beef were also state-specific, and Brazil’s exports to Iran have been robust this year – averaging 9,910 mt per month through May. June exports fell sharply to 1,471 mt, although the May BSE case was likely only one factor behind this decline as demand may have also cooled. Brazil’s first-half exports to Iran tripled from a year ago to 51,023 mt, making Iran the fifth-largest destination for Brazilian beef. India is the only other major beef exporter currently supplying Iran, with exports through April totaling 8,748 mt, down 34 percent from the same period last year.

Saudi Arabia is now the only major market that remains closed to Brazilian beef due to BSE. In the first half of 2012, Saudi Arabia was Brazil’s sixth largest volume market, taking 20,225 mt valued at $93.6 million. The market closed to Brazilian beef in December 2012, with exports for that calendar year totaling 35,651 mt, up 20 percent from 2011. With Brazil and the U.S. out of the market, India is currently the largest beef supplier to Saudi Arabia (January-April exports of 29,494 mt, +22 percent from a year ago), followed by Australia (January-May exports of 16,614 mt, +22 percent).