Brazil to partially halt beef production amid China export ban -report

FILE PHOTO: A butcher unloads beef from a truck outside a butcher's shop in Sao Paulo, Brazil July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry has told local meatpackers to halt beef production intended for export to China as the Asian country has not yet lifted an export ban imposed in early September, newspaper O Globo reported late on Tuesday.

The suspension was put in place after Brazil confirmed two atypical cases of mad cow disease on Sept. 4. The move followed existing trade protocols between the two countries.

According to O Globo, which cited an internal Agriculture Ministry memo, Brazil has decided to partially halt production because China is taking too long to lift the ban.

It said that the ministry has also temporarily allowed beef processors to store for up to 60 days meat produced before China’s suspension took place.

Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The ministry had announced on Tuesday that Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina is willing to travel to China to discuss with her Chinese counterparts a potential end to the export ban.

Reporting by Gabriel Araujo, Editing by Louise Heavens