Brazil is hoping that China will give clearance to resume beef exports before the end of this week, having been in intensive discussions with Chinese authorities since two cases of atypical BSE were reported just over two weeks ago.
Saudi Arabia has announced a lifting of the ban it imposed on Brazilian beef imports, but Russia has introduced a ban on beef imports from the states of Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais.
There is nervousness as exporters await the green light to resume exports to China.
Luis Basterra lost his job following poor election results for the governing party
There are hopes that clearance to resume could come this week, but concern that if it goes beyond this it could drag out for a while. Factory cattle prices have dropped to the equivalent of €3.18/kg, 30c/kg below the high point of this year but still 50c/kg better than this time last year.
Meanwhile in Argentina, the minister for agriculture, livestock and fisheries, Luis Basterra, lost his job following poor election results for the governing party.
Argentina is the fourth-biggest beef exporter in the world after Brazil, the US and Australia
His replacement is Julián Domínguez, who previously served as minister and his first challenge will be from farmers and the processing industry on the export constraints imposed by the Government in an attempt to control food inflation.
Argentina is the fourth-biggest beef exporter in the world after Brazil, the US and Australia. With trade interrupted in two of the four largest exporters and Australia having reduced supplies because of herd rebuilding, there are serious constraints on the supply side of the world beef trade. The US is an exception, in that it looks like it is heading for a record year of beef exports.