September 26, 2018 / 3:36 PM / 7 months ago

India opens door to Brazilian pork as swine fever sweeps China

A customer (R) pays for his meat at the Municipal Market in Sao Paulo October 10, 2014. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/Files

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - India approved imports of Brazilian pork, Brazil’s government said on Wednesday, relieving pressure on the market amid the rapid spread of African swine fever in neighboring China.

Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry said the Indian government had officially confirmed the decision a day earlier. Brazilian animal meat processing association ABPA celebrated the access to a market of 1.3 billion people.

ABPA head Francisco Turra highlighted that India’s market is opening as African swine fever has rattled the global pork industry, sweeping through Asia after spreading from Europe into Russia.

“With a rising income, India is going through an intense urbanization trend that generates changes in food habits, boosting the presence of animal protein in the diet,” said ABPA’s head Francisco Turra.

He said Brazilian meatpackers will look at opportunities such as food service for hotels and restaurants.

The opportunity is a welcome relief for Brazilian pork exports, which are expected to fall as much as 12 percent this year due to a Russian investigation into feed additives, fallout from a health inspection scandal and a disruptive trucker strike.

Brazil is the world’s fourth largest pork exporter after Europe, the United States and Canada.

Reporting by Roberto Samora and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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