U.S. authorities have cleared the import of fresh Brazilian beef and pork from the state of Santa Catarina, local pork producers and exporters association Abipecs said on Tuesday.
The change in U.S. policy toward Brazilian meat exports is likely to open other lucrative foreign markets in Asia and improve the revenues of large Brazilian meat companies, producers said.
U.S. inspectors are expected to visit meat-processing plants in the southern state in the near future, after which they would issue clearance to individual plants and exporters to ship meat to the United States.
"Now they will have to clear each plant. It's a case-by-case process," said the head of Abipecs, Pedro de Camargo Neto, adding that Brazilian pork ribs and bacon should be competitive on the U.S. market.
Santa Catarina is Brazil's largest pork-producing state. Brazilian meat companies such as Brasil Foods, Marfrig and potentially JBS are likely to benefit directly from this change in U.S. policy.
Camargo Neto said the U.S. decision would not prompt a surge in meat exports. A more important effect would be the opening of other markets to fresh Brazilian meat, such as Japan and South Korea, which respect the U.S. inspection service.
"This indirectly helps too, giving credibility to Santa Catarina meats," Camargo Neto said. He said the U.S. Federal Register published on Tuesday the decision to allow fresh meat imports from the state, which is recognized by the World Organisation for Animal Health as foot-and-mouth disease free without vaccination.