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On February 23, Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, announced the suspension of beef exports to China due to a confirmed case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, also known as BSE or mad cow disease. Beef shipments have been halted as part of a trade protocol between the two nations. Media outlets and analysts are expecting the suspension to be short-lived, however, it’s unknown how long it will last. In 2021, when two cases of BSE were discovered in Brazil, China similarly halted Brazilian beef imports. That suspension was also expected to be temporary but ended up lasting more than three months. A noteworthy point to make regarding those two BSE cases in 2021, Brazil waited two months before they publicly reported the cases after they were discovered.   In 2022, China imported nearly $7 billion worth of beef products from Brazil. In volume that totaled almost 2.7 million tons of beef. Forty percent of China’s beef comes from Brazil, no other country even comes close to that volume. According to an employee of the China Cattle Industry Association, this ban on Brazilian beef may lead to a certain expansion of beef imports from countries including Australia. How this ban will…

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