Japan and Brazil: New import bans for pork

The pressure on German pig farmers is growing massively. The list of countries that renounced meat from Germany after the swine fever case in Brandenburg is growing. The ministry is fighting for individual solutions.

Because of the swine fever in Germany, according to the federal government, Japan has now banned German pork imports to China and South Korea. This was announced by the Ministry of Agriculture in Berlin. We are still in talks with the governments of these countries in order to reach regionalization agreements. The aim is to limit import bans due to swine fever only to companies from affected German regions – and not to introduce them for all of Germany. This is also the rule in the EU, to which around 70 percent of pork exports go.

Last year Japan imported 40,240 tons of pork from Germany – excluding sausages and other pork products. According to the Tokyo Department of Agriculture, that was only 3.3 percent of total pork imports. Live pigs were not imported at all in 2019.

Brazil has also suspended imports of pork from Germany. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Agriculture in the capital Brasília. In a letter they asked the health authorities in Germany for detailed information about safety measures that are being taken by German companies. Argentina has also already stopped importing pork from Germany.

China, which has already stopped imports, is the main export market for German pork outside the EU. According to the Federal Statistical Office, exports there reached a peak in November 2019: In that month, 53,000 tonnes of pork from Germany worth 160 million euros were exported to China.

In general, since the first swine fever case in Brandenburg became known at the end of last week, a "de facto export ban" has already come into effect for most of the target countries outside the EU. The background is that export certificates can no longer state that Germany is "swine fever-free", as the ministry explained. For the time being, there are no further cases of the animal disease, which is harmless to humans, beyond the discovery of a dead wild boar in Brandenburg.


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