Following Beijing’s announcement that it had detected the COVID-19 virus in some Russian poultry products exported to China, it has banned the import of these products from several Russian manufacturing sites.
According to a recent announcement by Chinese customs officials, the COVID-19 genome has been identified by Guangdong authorities in 13 shipments of chicken meat and related by-products produced by the Cherkizovo group.
China Customs has announced that all the above shipments will be returned.
Chinese officials have announced that all licenses to export Cherkizovo products to China will be suspended for four weeks until the investigation is completed.
Although China is currently the largest buyer of Russian agricultural products, until 2019, the export of Russian-made chicken meat to China was banned, and Russian officials have made great efforts in recent years to expand their exports to this country.
Officials have announced that the resumption of shipments from the companies will depend on the completion of the investigation.
However, many food industry commentators believe that given the volume of poultry imports from Russia to China, a long-term suspension of Chinese purchases from Russia seems unlikely.
Estimates suggest that the Cherkizovo Group exported more than 14,000 tonnes of chicken meat to China in 2019.
Yesterday, Chinese health officials announced the detection of the COVID-19 virus in one of their largest poultry production chains.
With a production of more than 50 million chickens per year, this complex is one of the largest producers of poultry products in the world.
The remarks come as the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially stated in recent months that the disease is not transmitted to humans through food.