Saudi Arabia Cancels Poultry Buying Contracts With 33 Brazilian Meatpackers

The measure is seen as possible retaliation against Jair Bolsonaro's idea of transferring the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem

Mauro Zafalon
São Paulo

Saudi Arabia, Brazil's largest poultry buyer, stripped 33 meatpacking companies of their selling privileges to the Middle Eastern country.

From 58 companies previously credentialed to sell poultry products, there are only 25 left.

The Middle Eastern country is requiring the 33 companies to make some adjustments, to be credentialed again.

According to the president of Brazil's Meatpacking Association, Francisco Turra, from the 58 plants, only 30 were selling products to Saudi Arabia. That means that the actual impact will be on only five plants.

BRF poultry plant, in Rio Verde, Goiás - Xinhua/Li Ming

Among the meatpacking plants that lost their exporting privileges, there are some managed by BRF and JBS, two giant players in this industry.

The Saudi Arabia move is happening for some reasons, industry sources say.

One is that a Saudi retinue who visited some meatpacking facilities in Brazil last year discovered some issues in production. There is also a wish from the Saudi government to reduce its dependency on Brazilian poultry, so it's encouraging local meatpackers.

However, it's not out of the question that the move can also be a form of economic retaliation against Bolsonaro's stated intention of moving Brazil's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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