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Minerva Falls to Five-Month Low as Russia Suspends Beef Imports

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Minerva SA, Brazil’s third-largest beef producer by market value, dropped to a five-month low as Russia’s veterinary and health surveillance service suspended beef imports from one of its plants.

Shares of the Barretos, Brazil-based meatpacker declined 2.3 percent to 10.20 reais at 11:22 a.m. in Sao Paulo, the lowest level on a closing basis since Dec. 18. It was the worst performer on the Bovespa Small Cap index, which added 1 percent.

Russia “temporarily” halted beef imports from a plant in the state of Goias, the company said in a regulatory filing yesterday after the newspaper Valor Economico reported the suspension. The company said in the filing that it is working to adapt plant conditions to Russia’s requirements.

Sao Paulo-based Valor reported yesterday that Russia suspended imports from two plants of Marfrig Alimentos SA, Brazil’s second-biggest meatpacker. That company said in a regulatory filing today that it hasn’t been notified of the decision and, if the halt is confirmed, it will continue exporting to Russia beef from other plants. Sao Paulo-based Marfrig shares declined as much as 1.4 percent to 7.20 reais before rising the same amount to 7.40 reais.

Minerva’s and Marfrig’s press offices didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and e-mail messages from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Denyse Godoy in Sao Paulo at dgodoy2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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