Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods SA, a JBS rival, announced on Sunday that it had shipped its first cargo of fresh beef to the United States, saying it was the first trade of that type ever done.
One day later, JBS SA said a container had left one of its plants heading to the American market.
Brazil is expected to ship some 20,000 tons of beef to the United States this year.
The official, who is in charge of meatpacker JBS SA's division for the trade bloc formed by Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, believes the United States will be among the five key markets for Brazilian fresh beef as soon as 2017.
Brazil and the United States last month concluded a deal to allow for bilateral trade of fresh beef. As part of the deal, Brazil was included in a duty-free quota of 64,800 tons per year with other countries.
Brazilian fresh beef exports to the United States will be competitive even if subject to a 26.4 percent duty when shipped outside of a tax-free quota, Miguel Gularte, the head of JBS Mercosur, said on Friday.
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