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UPDATE 1-Brazil govt confirms two meat suppliers' exports to China suspended

(Adds govt confirmation of suspension)

SAO PAULO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - China has temporarily suspended meat imports from two Brazilian companies, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said late on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo said China halted imports from privately-owned Naturafrig Alimentos Ltda and Plena Alimentos after detecting traces of the novel coronavirus in food packaging.

In an email to Reuters, Brazil’s agriculture ministry confirmed the suspension but did not provide any further details. Naturafrig and Plena did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, Chinese authorities have temporarily banned imports from other Brazilian purveyors, including BRF SA and JBS SA. Some of the suspensions have been already lifted.

Citing the Chinese customs authority, the O Estado report said that the ban would last one week. (Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Nick Zieminski and Sonya Hepinstall)

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