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China blocks four Brazil beef plants -agriculture ministry

China blocks four Brazil beef plants -agriculture ministry

FILE PHOTO: A worker spreads salted meat which will be dried and then packed at a plant of JBS S.A, the world's largest beef producer, in Santana de Parnaiba, Brazil December 19, 2017. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO : China has temporarily suspended beef imports from four Brazilian slaughterhouses, two operated by JBS SA and two by rival Marfrig, according to a statement sent to Reuters confirming the move.

The suspension was announced by the China's General Administration of Customs and is effective immediately. The Chinese government did not detail the reasons for the beef plants it banned.

"The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply confirms that it received the notification on Tuesday by the Chinese authorities about the suspensions."

According to an industry source speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the banned plants is located in the municipality of Promissao, Sao Paulo state. It's prohibited from exporting to China for four weeks.

Marfrig's Varzea Grande plant, in Mato Grosso, is suspended for a week, according to the same source.

The source also said JBS had two units suspended, one in Senador Canedo, Goias state, and another in Lins, Sao Paulo state, for a week.

Marfrig declined to comment on the matter. JBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beijing's decision comes hours after authorities from Brazil and China met and agreed on advancing the bilateral trade agenda, in talks that included the signature of a protocol to export Brazilian corn to China.

(Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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