Brazil meat lobby complains of Mexican court’s ban on pork imports

SAO PAULO, Dec 1 (Reuters) – A Brazilian association representing pork and poultry processors said on Friday it “regrets” a decision taken by a Mexican court which suspended pork imports from the South American nation at the request of local producers, calling it “protectionist.”

In a statement on Friday, ABPA said the decision will disrupt supplies into Mexico as the country is grappling with inflationary pressure.

ABPA said Mexico needs to import almost half of its domestic pork demand, being among the world’s top three importers.

Because some 90% of Mexican pork imports come from the United States, Brazil would represent a reliable alternative for pork supplies in the Mexican market, ABPA said.

The Brazilian agriculture ministry said an official had been dispatched to Mexico this week to negotiate an end to the ban. ABPA said it is supporting the Brazilian government in the negotiations.

“The suspension of Brazilian pork imports is the result of a lawsuit filed by the Mexican pig breeders association, which questions the process of opening of this market,” the ministry said.

Almost $60 million worth of Brazilian pork products have been shipped already and await authorization to enter Mexico, the Brazilian government noted. “Most of them have already been paid for by Mexican importers, who could suffer major losses as a result of the ban,” it added.

ABPA said Brazil began selling pork products into Mexico in September 2022.

The first larger shipment from Brazil, with 27 tons, was sent in February after a Mexican mission approved seven suppliers from Santa Catarina state.