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Australian Beef By-Products Banned

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MOSCOW— Russia is temporarily banning the import of beef by-products from Australia, citing the detection in shipments of a growth stimulant it prohibits, throwing into doubt exports that brought in around A$10 million ($8.81 million) last year for Australia.

The ban will be imposed from Jan. 27 and is prompted by the detection in several shipments of the growth stimulant, Russia's Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service said in a statement on Thursday. It was not immediately clear when the ban will be reviewed.

"The suspension has been put in place following the detection of residues of the hormonal growth promotant Trenbolone in a small number of export consignments," a spokesman for the Australian Department of Agriculture said on Friday.

Most countries permit the use of Trenbolone but Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States prohibit their presence in beef imports, analysts said.

Australia's agriculture department has reiterated Russia's requirements to meat exporters and moved to strengthen its certification requirements for products exported to Russia, the spokesman said.

Russia imported 12,435 tons of beef offal from Australia in the first 11 months of 2013, according to industry data, worth A$10.5 million.

Industry body Meat and Livestock Australia said the Russian market was worth about 10 percent of annual Australian beef offal exports.

Australia is the world's third-largest beef exporter after the United States and Brazil. More than 30 Australian firms are currently allowed to supply beef and by-products to Russia.

Russia imported 1.1 million tons of red meat worth $4.5 billion in January-November 2013, according to official customs data.

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