Brazil reopens market to Argentine table grapes

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Brazil reopens market to Argentine table grapes

Brazil ended a seven-month import ban on Argentine table grapes yesterday, following a Mercosur agreement between the two nations.

Friday’s agreement between Argentine President Cristina Fernández and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will allow imports of fresh grapes that have undergone methyl bromide treatment, Argentina's Minister of Agriculture Norberto Yauhar told Diario de Cuyo.

“The only thing that will be asked of San Juan exporters will be methyl bromide treatment because the Brazilians don’t want to run any risks with a contaminated vine that might exist in the territory, as happens in Chile. The next step will be insisting on no methyl bromide,” Yauhar was quoted as saying.

The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply suspended imports of Argentine grapes in May after Brevipalpus Chilensis was detected in a shipment from Mendoza.

Brevipalpus Chilensis is an invasive red mite that feeds on the lower surface of leaves and can stunt growth.

The ban has been a concern for San Juan exporters who typically export 30% of output to Brazil, according to Diaro de Cuyo. They are now reportedly working against the clock to meet the new requirements.

Friday’s meeting also established new standards for prawn, fresh mandarin oranges, canned peaches and dairy.

Argentine Minister of Foreign Relations Héctor Timerman expressed satisfaction with the Mercosur talks.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of this meeting and we believe that the relationship between the two countries is going to make a giant leap," he told INFOnews.

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