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China's growing appetite boosts LatAm's meat exports

Staff Writer |
China's growing appetite for beef and pork has boosted meat exports in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, with more potential to be tapped in the Chinese market.

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Mexico's first ever shipment of pork to China marked a milestone in trade.
China, one of the main markets for Brazilian beef, bought 906 million U.S. dollars' worth of Brazilian beef from June 2015 to January 2016, or 28 percent of the sector's total revenue, said a report by Brazil's Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade earlier this year.

Despite China's rising demand for beef, there is still a great potential for growth in the Chinese market, with only 6 kg of beef bought per capita each year at present, compared with 35-40 kg in Brazil and around 60 kg in Argentina.

China imposed a three-year embargo on Brazilian beef imports in May last year following an atypical epidemic of mad cow disease in 2012. The embargo was then lifted after Brazil imposed stricter controls.

In the past two years, Brazil has become China's main source of beef and pork.

Mexico's first ever shipment of pork to China marked a milestone in trade, said Mexican industry officials.

China's meat market is a tough one to break into, given the strict sanitary requirements, but once the market has been cracked open, it promises to provide Mexican meat industry with brisk business, they said.

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