by | Jun 23, 2017 | Imports, Trade Policy

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue yesterday announced the suspension of all imports of fresh beef from Brazil because of recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market.

In the wake of the Brazilian government investigation into alleged bribery of food-sanitation inspectors, some 20 countries banned meat imports from Brazil [See Brazilian Meat Exports Skewered.]

The U.S. was not among the countries that banned Brazilian imports when the investigation broke in March. However, since then the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been inspecting 100% of all meat products arriving in the States from Brazil.

During that period, FSIS has refused entry to 106 lots (approximately 1.9 million pounds) of Brazilian beef products, accounting for 11% of Brazilian fresh beef products shipped. According to the USDA, that figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of 1% of shipments from the rest of the world.

According to our Brazilian trade data, the U.S. is well down the rankings of markets for its beef (HS 0201, 0202) at No. 35, accounting for .08% of beef exports by value in 2016. Our U.S. Census data shows Brazil ranked 11th among countries supplying beef (HS 0201, 0202) to the U.S., accounting for just over $2 million, or .04% of U.S. beef imports in 2016.

The immediate impact, then, is likely to be felt most keenly by the direct parties to this trade.

Our bill of lading data can help identify top players – shown here, for example, are the top 5 shippers and importers of frozen beef by volume, based on 2016 shipments volumes:

U.S. halts imports of fresh beef from Brazil - top U.S. importers

U.S. halts imports of fresh beef from Brazil - top Brazilian shippers

The repercussions from the U.S. ban may well have a larger impact on a key Brazilian export sector which has already sustained sharp cuts in its top markets.

If you would like to see more data on import-export trade in beef, including details of top consignees and shippers, just ask us.


More resources:

Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the FSIS ensures that imported beef, poultry and egg products are safe for consumption and correctly labelled.  Imports are marked with a country code in CBP’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Partner Government Agency (PGA) message set. This code is essential to track and correctly process in-bound shipments – in the case of fresh beef from Brazil, by denying clearance. Learn more at our ACE Resource Center.


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