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Brazil's BRF says China blocked Dourados chicken exports

Credit: REUTERS/RODOLFO BUHRER

Brazilian meat processor BRF SA said on Wednesday that Chinese customs authority GACC had suspended chicken exports from its Dourados plant, in Mato Grosso do Sul, over COVID-19 concerns.

Adds details from the statement

SAO PAULO, July 29 (Reuters) - Brazilian meat processor BRF SA BRFS3.SA said on Wednesday that Chinese customs authority GACC had suspended chicken exports from its Dourados plant, in Mato Grosso do Sul, over COVID-19 concerns.

BRF, which is Brazil's biggest chicken exporter, said in a statement it was not formally notified of the suspension, but learned of it via a publication on the GACC's website.

The company said it was working with Brazilian and Chinese authorities to reverse the measure.

BRF and meatpackers including Marfrig MRFG3.SA and JBS SA JBSS3.SA, which say the novel coronavirus cannot be transmitted by food, are among companies that had exports from local plants banned by the Chinese after outbreaks in Brazil.

BRF said Chinese agencies have carried out random tests to identify the virus in 227,900 food samples from different countries and from multiple companies.

"Nothing has been found so far," BRF said.

BRF also noted that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has adopted health and safety protocols and contingency plans in all its manufacturing units in Brazil and abroad.

The Brazilian agriculture ministry did not have an immediate comment.

(Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Brad Haynes and Alistair Bell)

((ana.mano@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +55-11-5644-7704; Mob: +55-119-4470-4529; Reuters Messaging: ana.mano.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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