Trade talks between EU, Mercosur end with no breakthrough

The European Union and Latin American bloc Mercosur have concluded two weeks of negotiations in Brussels on a free trade deal with no clear breakthrough. No formal offers were made, and the negotiators have agreed to continue discussions in Asuncion, Paraguay, in the week beginning February 19, Reuters cited a an EU Commission spokesman as saying on Friday. Last week, the EU signaled that it could open up its market to more beef from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, according to officials. Beef has been a key demand for the Mercosur countries, but a concern for such farming nations as Ireland and France.