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China bans imports from another three COVID-19-affected plants in Brazil

China’s General Administration of Customs has temporarily banned meat imports from three Brazilian meat plants over fears of the novel coronavirus.

30 June 2020, at 10:30am

Reuters reports that Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry announced the ban on 29 June. The ministry declined to name the meat processors affected by the decision. They also said that Chinese authorities had not given a formal reason for suspending imports.

In recent days, Chinese customs authorities have asked Brazil for information on companies exporting agricultural and commercial goods to China after reports in the Brazilian press about cases of the novel coronavirus among meat plant workers, the agriculture ministry said.

According to a statement issued by the agriculture ministry, all of the requested information has been provided.

A source familiar with the matter reports that a plant operated by Marfrig in Várzea Grande was one of the three suspended processing facilities.

According to a database on the ministry's website, JBS' chicken plant in Passo Fundo was banned by China on Friday and a plant operated by privately owned Minuano in the town of Lajeado was suspended on Monday.

Minuano could not be reached for comment. JBS and Marfrig, which owns National Beef, declined to comment.

The Brazilian agriculture ministry said is trying to determine the reasons for the suspension of the three establishments and at the same time it has started negotiations so that the suspensions can be lifted.

The agriculture ministry also said it had "voluntarily" suspended exports to China from a fourth establishment. China last week identified it as Brazilian beef exporter Agra Agroindustrial De Alimentos SA.

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