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Russia food embargo creates golden opportunity for Brazil

Brazilian meat exporters said on Thursday (Aug 7) that Moscow's ban on food imports from Europe and the United States provide a golden opportunity to sell more of their products to Russia.

BRASILIA: Brazilian meat exporters said on Thursday (Aug 7) that Moscow's ban on food imports from Europe and the United States provide a golden opportunity to sell more of their products to Russia.

The sanctions announced by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev come just days after Moscow sealed import deals with two dozen Brazilian poultry companies and five pork producers.

There are nearly 40 Brazilian poultry producers and 12 pork manufacturers exporting their goods to Russia, industry officials said. There are also more than two dozen beef production facilities which now have approval to export to Russia, according to the Brazilian meat exporters' association ABIEC.

Russia is the second biggest consumer of Brazilian port and beef, with beef being Brazil's biggest export to Russia. From January to June, these exports were worth US$563 million out of US$3 billion in total bilateral trade during that period, according to official figures.

The embargo on US and European products was launched in retaliation against US and European sanctions over Russia's alleged role in eastern Ukraine separatist violence. It "opens up an opportunity for Brazil to increase its exports to Russia" said Ricardo Santin, head of a Brazilian poultry producers' association.

Just last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin travelled to Brazil and several other countries in Latin America to increase trade and investment.

Medvedev said the Russian embargo will bar for one year imports of meats, fruits and vegetables, fish and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, Norway and the United States. Only baby food was exempted.

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