Multiple meat plants in Argentina suspend exports to China over coronavirus fears

Seven Argentine meat processing plants are temporarily halting exports to China due to registered cases of COVID-19 among meat plant workers.
calendar icon 14 August 2020
clock icon 2 minute read

Reuters reports that a source from the Argentine agricultural health agency Senasa made the disclosure on 13 August. The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said three of the seven meat plants were likely to resume shipping to China in the coming days.

China is Argentina’s top beef buyer. In 2019, Argentina sent China 75 percent of the total 845,900 tonnes of beef it shipped internationally.

Both countries have agreed that if a case of the novel coronavirus was registered in an Argentine meat packing plant, it would cease its shipments until Senasa and Chinese officials authorised its reinstatement.

"There are seven plants temporarily suspended," the Senasa source told Reuters.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 11 Argentine plants have of the 96 authorised to ship to China have halted supplying the commodities-hungry nation due to COVID-19 contagion. Suspensions usually last about a week.

China has intensified its sanitary controls after finding traces of the virus in frozen chicken from Brazil and in food packaging samples from Ecuador.

However, compared to Brazil and Ecuador, Argentina has registered a significantly lower number of infections and deaths from the disease due to strong quarantine measures.

In Argentina 268,574 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed so far, of which 5,246 have been fatal, according to the health ministry. Argentina has a population of about 45 million people.

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Source: Reuters

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