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Brazil lifts suspension of beef exports to China

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A drone captured this file photo of cattle on pasture in Brazil's Mato Grosso state. (JoseMoraes/iStock/Getty Images)

Sao Paulo | Reuters — Brazil’s government said Thursday it has lifted a suspension of beef exports to China after dealing with an atypical case of BSE, sending shares of Marfrig Global Foods, Minerva and other Brazilian meatpackers soaring.

The suspension had been in effect since June 3 after a case was reported in a 17-year-old cow in the state of Mato Grosso. Cases of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) can arise spontaneously in cattle herds, usually in animals eight years old or older.

Tereza Cristina Dias, the agriculture minister, said on her Twitter account that Brazil would resume issuance of international health certificates to allow for beef exports to China.

Marfrig, whose shares jumped five per cent after the announcement of the end of the suspension, said in a securities filing that the government’s issuance of these certificates had been normalized on Thursday.

Shares of rival Minerva also rose three per cent in Sao Paulo.

China is the only country among Brazilian importers that enforces a health protocol requiring suspension of beef imports when an atypical case of BSE is reported, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said in a statement.

The ministry reiterated the Brazilian government’s intention to negotiate a new health protocol with Chinese authorities to address the issue.

— Reporting for Reuters by Ana Mano.

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