Brazil's pork industry in Santa Catarina state, still celebrating the breakthrough in late August of Japan approving its meat for export, will likely begin shipping to the Asian market a few months later than expected and in small quantities to start, a lead industry executive tells Meatingplace.
Officials from the Brazilian and Japanese ministries of agriculture had met in Tokyo to discuss final steps of the agreement, following Japan's recognition on Aug. 28 that pork from Brazil's Santa Catarina state was free of foot and mouth disease, and acceptable for import.
Diplomats and industry leaders initially pegged the process for completion within 60 days, with Brazilian exports to possibly start as soon as Nov. 1.
That forecast was overly optimistic. Japan-bound pork exports will probably only begin in small amounts in early 2013, Clever Pirola Avila, president of meat industry trade union Sindicarne-SC, told Meatingplace.
Brazil is currently the largest exporter of raw frozen poultry meat to Japan, holding 90 percent of that market.
Brazil's main pork processors and exporters association, Abipecs, estimates that Brazilian pork from Santa Catarina could support 15 percent of Japanese demand by 2013, and the state could double its current pork export figures by serving Japan.
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