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Brazil’s meat lobby says new tariff exemption allows cheaper corn imports from US and Ukraine

April 22, 2021

Brazil’s decision to temporarily remove tariffs on grain imports could pave the way for cheaper corn from Ukraine and the United States, potentially hurting grain producers in Mercosur, the said. leader of ABPA.

Reuters reports that the Brazilian government has announced that it will remove import duties on supplies outside South America’s Mercosur trading block, in response to a direct request from the meat association ABPA, its president Ricardo Santin said . The industry is looking for other suppliers of corn given the high prices of cereals in the domestic market, he added.

BRF SA, the largest chicken processor in Brazil, said Reuters it has imported corn from Argentina in recent days, without providing details on volumes. Santin said the company and its competitors could rely on corn imports as prices remain high.

The suspension of import duties on grains, published in a new edition of the Federal Gazette on April 20, will come into effect in seven days and will be valid until December 31 and will also cover soybeans, soybean meal and the ‘Soya oil.

The ABPA has also urged the government to allow imports of unapproved U.S. genetically modified (GMO) corn varieties into Brazil if emergency supplies are needed, Santin said. These imports would be for animal feed only, he said.

“It’s hard to find varieties in the United States that are already approved in Brazil,” Santin said of corn. “It’s not just like going out there and buying it.

Abramilho, an association representing domestic corn producers, said she hoped the government would manage the tariff exemption “skillfully”.

As the price of corn rises, ABPA said the meat industry is looking for food alternatives, including wheat.

Last year, Brazil temporarily suspended certain import tariffs for cereals from countries outside the Mercosur trade bloc. After the move, Brazil made a rare purchase of American soybeans.

The soybean exemption lasted until mid-January and the corn exemption ended last month.

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Source: Reuters