China, Chile, South Korea and EU have suspended imports due to the meat scandal currently going on in Brazil. The suspension of imports come just days after inspectors were accused of taking bribes to allow the sales of rotten meat.
The suspension is bad news for Brazil, one of the biggest beef exporters, as it could affect its economy. More countries could soon follow and decide to suspend imports from Brazil. The rotten meat scandal is the latest to affect the country, which is still recovering from the scandals involving a construction and oil company.
Authorities revealed on Friday that BRF SA, JBS SA and a few other companies allegedly gave inspectors and politicians money to overlook the process of the meat being exported. Police detained an executive of BRF SA on Saturday. BRF and JBS shares dropped after the countries suspended meat imports. BRF is currently the biggest poultry exporter while JBS is the largest meat processing company in the world.
China, which accounts for a big percentage of the meat imports from Brazil, made the decision to suspend it as a safety measure. The suspensions continued with the EU stopping imports from four of the country’s meat processing facilities. Chile and South Korea have also decided to suspend meat imports. South Korea’s Agriculture Ministry said it would tighten the inspections of chicken coming from Brazil. The country also said it would suspend sales of chicken products from BRF SA. South Korea imported tons of chicken from Brazil in 2016 and nearly half of that is said to be from BRF SA, which has been operating in the country for over 80 years. Chile’s Agriculture Ministry said earlier today that it had temporarily suspended all meat imports from Brazil.
The scandal does not involve all the companies in Brazil but the President of the Beef Producers Association in Brazil, Francisco Turra, spoke to reporters and said this destroyed the image of products and puts the meat industry in jeopardy.
The meat scandal has led to suspensions of imports from a few countries but more could soon follow. Brazil, one of the world’s biggest meat exporters, exported nearly $6 billion in poultry and over $4 billion in beef last year.