Last year, the coronavirus pandemic disrupted beef production across the world, as workers fell ill and plants were temporarily shut. In South America, outbreaks were reported at processing facilities in Brazil and Argentina, while workers in Uruguay went on strike.
Just as operations began to normalize, producers were faced with a new challenge, as China started detecting traces of coronavirus in beef imports. The latest wave of such reports came in November, when various Chinese cities said they had found the virus on beef sourced from Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina. Similar findings resulted in the temporary suspension of exports from nine processing plants in Brazil and seven in Argentina.