China will restart beef imports from Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter, a month after the trade was halted over a case of mad cow disease. Shares on Brazilian meatpackers jumped.
The Asian nation has agreed to resume purchases of Brazilian beef from Thursday, sending shares on JBS SA, the world’s largest beef producer, up as much as 4.6%, the most in a week. Minerva SA soared as much as 6.7%, also the most in a week, while Marfrig Global Foods gained 3.4%.
Brazil is the top beef supplier to China, which is also the main destination for Brazilian beef exports, accounting for roughly 60% of shipments. The mad cow case in Brazil is “atypical,” which generally means the animal contracted the disease spontaneously and presents no threat to the nation’s herds.
The lifting of the trade curb comes ahead of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s visit to China, scheduled to start on Sunday.
The decision to halt trade between the two nations was taken on Feb. 22 as part of a sanitary protocol. President Lula is expected to renegotiate that requirement under which a single mad cow case triggers an export ban for the whole country. Brazilian meatpackers also expect the visit can pave the way for them getting more permissions to ship beef to China.