The presidents of China and Brazil met May 19 and signed an agreement, effective immediately, to allow import of Brazilian chicken.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met for a state visit in Beijing this week, and signed a total of 13 different agreements, covering oil, finance, space, science, law, equipment, and agricultural products.

Pork and beef were also expected to be discussed during this meeting, but no agreement about these imports was reached.

The agreement covers 24 Brazilian exporters, located in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Goiás and Minas Gerais, and include food giants Perdigão and Sadia, which merged into Brasil Foods May 19.

“I am satisfied with this deal,” Francisco Sérgio Turra, chairman of the Brazilian Chicken Producers and Exporters Association, told Beijing’s state-owned People's Daily newspaper.

China will be an important market for Brazilian producers in the future, he said.

China replaced the U.S. as Brazil’s biggest trading partner with US$320 million of bilateral trade value in April 2009, according to Brazil’s Ministry of Development, Trade and Industry.