According to Brazil’s Trade Ministry, the country’s meat exports have dropped to $74,000 (68,500 euros), compared with the daily average of $63 million – a drop by 99.9 percent.
Last week a police investigation showed the existence of a corrupt scheme, in which health inspectors were allegedly bribed to certify tainted food as fit for consumption.
The scandal has sparked growing public fears; several major foreign buyers have announced import suspensions and increased inspections. China and Hong Kong have stopped all Brazilian beef and chicken imports. China was the second biggest chicken importer in 2016. Hong Kong was the biggest beef importer, buying $718 million worth, followed closely by China which racked up a bill of $703 million.
The European Union has blocked imports from the 21 businesses being investigated in Brazil. Only four of those companies were eligible to export to the EU.