SAO PAULO, Brazil — Three of 10 Brazilian slaughterhouses banned from exporting beef to Russia have been removed from the black list after two years.
The Russian agency responsible for checking meat imports, Rosselkhoznadzor, gave the green light to the companies Mataboi, Marfrig and JBS on Wednesday, the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry said.
JBS is the world's largest producer of beef and the main exporter to Russia.
Rosselkhoznadzor lifted the ban after the Agriculture Ministry submitted paperwork in late September providing documented proof that the three companies were operating in line with Russian demands, senior ministry official Marcelo Junqueira said.
The Russians had expressed concern over the suspected use of growth hormones in animals and a failure by the Brazilian authorities to document inspections of the slaughterhouses.
"We have full confidence in our sanitary procedures because we know the importance of the Russian market for Brazilian beef,” Junqueira said.
Negotiations over the remaining seven slaughterhouses will continue, he said.
Russia is the second largest buyer of Brazilian beef, behind only Hong Kong, and has been boosting beef imports despite the ban.
From January to October, Russian importers purchased 266,000 tons of Brazilian beef worth $1.046 billion, according to ministry figures. Last year, shipments totaled 253,700 tons worth $1.056 billion.
With the partial lifting of the ban, Brazil should hit a new sales record to Russia, Junqueira said.