(Adds details from news conference)
BRASÍLIA, May 23 (Reuters) - China will allow meat exports from six Brazilian meat-packing plants as an outbreak of African swine fever in the Asian nation has forced the country to look for alternative suppliers.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said the six plants are part of a list of 30 meat-processing plants that Brazil wants China to clear for exports. There is no timeline for Chinese authorities to finish evaluating those plants, she said.
Of the six plants cleared, Dias said there are still some formalities to be observed before Brazilian exporters can start shipments to China. The six plants have already “passed an inspection” while the other plants still need to be more thoroughly evaluated, she said.
The minister, who just returned from a trip to Asia, said Brazil currently has 16 beef plants, nine hog plants and between 37 and 39 chicken plants authorized to export into China. (Reporting by Mateus Maia; Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler )