SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday the country may resume beef exports to China after an embargo was lifted, sending shares of Brazilian meatpackers like Marfrig Global Foods and Minerva SA soaring.
Brazilian beef exports to China had been suspended since June 3 after an atypical case of mad cow disease was reported in the state of Mato Grosso. Atypical mad cow cases can arise spontaneously in cattle herds, usually in animals 8 years old or older. The Brazilian cow was 17.
Tereza Cristina Dias, the farm minister, said on her Twitter account that Brazil would resume issuance of international health certificates to allow for beef exports to China.
The ministry’s statement did not make clear when issuance of the certificates would effectively be resumed.
Marfrig’s shares jumped 5% and Minerva shares rose 3% in morning trade in São Paulo.
China is the only country, among Brazilian importers, which enforces a health protocol requiring suspension of beef imports when an atypical case of mad cow disease is reported, the ministry’s statement said.
The ministry reiterated the Brazilian government’s intention to negotiate a new health protocol with Chinese authorities to address the issue.
Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Dan Grebler