Brazil, Japan Agree on Local Trade Ban Related to Avian Flu; BRF Shares Jump

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Brazilian and Japanese authorities have agreed that trade bans related to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) will only apply to municipalities where a case is detected, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said on Friday.

The announcement comes after Japan suspended chicken imports from Espirito Santo and Santa Catarina states in recent weeks following outbreaks of HPAI in backyard flocks there.

Shares in Brazil’s top chicken exporter BRF SA (BRFS3.SA) were up 5%, at 9.02 reais apiece, after climbing as much as 7.2% following news of the agreement, from a 2.9% gain immediately before. Ibovespa, Brazil’s stock benchmark, rose 0.13%.

In the case of Santa Catarina, Brazil’s second biggest chicken exporter after Parana state, the outbreak was detected in the costal town of Maracaja and has already been controlled, a ministry statement said.

However, under Japanese protocols, it may take up to 28 days for the analysis of the relevant documentation by Japanese health authorities before exports can resume, the Brazilian side said.

“What we hope is that…we can resolve this before these 28 days,” Carlos Goulart, an agriculture ministry official, said in the statement. “Then the restriction would apply only to Maracaja, lifting bans on other locations in Santa Catarina.”

Source: Reuters