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Russia Blocks Some Brazilian Beef Imports

Russia, the largest buyer of Brazilian beef, has suspended red-meat imports from some units of JBS and Marfrig Alimentos because of health concerns, Brazil said Friday.

The country halted purchases from three beef-processing units of JBS, three at Marfrig and two at Frigorifico Riosulense, said a Brazilian Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman, who could not be identified because of government policy. The suspension came after a Russian delegation of health inspectors visited 29 plants.

JBS, the world's largest beef producer, led losses on the Bovespa index, while Marfrig, Latin America's second-biggest beef producer, also fell.

Marfrig's sales to Russia, which bought 23 percent of Brazil's beef exports last year, will not be affected by the suspension, the company said in a statement.

JBS said the financial impact of Russia banning beef imports from three of its plants was likely to be "irrelevant," as the company has 14 other plants able to export to Russia.

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