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China is seeking to import the high-protein, low-fat meat in bigger quantities from Brazil with the country experiencing a widening production deficit as mports are heading for a record
Brazil's supplies and low prices supported companies including JBS SA, Minerva SA and Marfrig Global Foods SA to strengthen exports to China by 65 per cent in the first half of the year.
Pork is the most widely eaten meat in China and while per-capita consumption has declined, at the same time demand for beef is increasing.
Currently the US is the only country that imports more beef than China and rapid economic growth over the past decade in China has created the world's second-largest economy. The country's expanding middle class has meant that more and more people in China can afford to buy beef.
"China will have a major impact on the beef trade," stated Miguel Gularte, head of JBS's Mercosul beef unit. "It's a fantastic market for Brazil" because the Asian country has "hundreds of millions of people moving to consume red meat," he added.