Market News & Headlines >> Brazil Meat Sector Hit By Scandal

Several countries, including China and Hong Kong, have suspended imports of meat from Brazil after a probe by Brazilian authorities found evidence meatpackers were bribing health inspectors to overlook practices such as processing of rotten meat and exporting of product with traces of salmonella bacteria. The results of the investigation led Brazilian authorities to suspend meat exports from 21 processing plants.

Brazil is the world's largest beef and poultry exporter and fourth largest pork exporter. China and Hong Kong are the No. 1 and No. 2 export markets for Brazilian beef. Hong Kong’s decision to ban all meat imports from Brazil came on Tuesday in the wake of China’s decision to temporarily suspend imports of red meat from Brazil on Sunday. 

In addition, Chile and Mexico have banned all meat imports from Brazil, while the European Union has implemented a ban on products from four specific meat processing plants. Other countries have also implemented limited import bans involving specific processing plants. 

USDA, meanwhile has started testing all U.S. imports of raw beef and ready-to-eat products from Brazil for pathogens. South Korea, however, on Tuesday lifted a temporary ban on sales of poultry meat from Brazilian poultry giant, BRF SA after Brazil’s government notified it that no meat from the 21 suspect processing plants was exported to South Korea.