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Brazil’s BRF maintains Gulf meat supply despite Abu Dhabi plant audit

(Adds halal sales volume data, comments by BRF spokeswoman)

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Brazilian food processor BRF SA confirmed on Wednesday that its plant in Abu Dhabi was being audited and that Saudi Arabia had restricted buying of some of its products, but it was still supplying Gulf markets.

BRF, which did not immediately name the auditing body involved, said the restrictions to sell to Saudi Arabia affect only a fraction of its business in the Gulf region.

The Abu Dhabi audit concerns the added value of the plant’s processed meat sales, a company spokeswoman told Reuters, adding that it has tax incentives which are based on these.

BRF said some 90% of the halal meat it sells in the region is fresh and therefore not affected by the restrictions, which were first reported by Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico.

For meat to satisfy halal standards, an animal has to be slaughtered in accordance with certain rules.

The Abu Dhabi plant remains open during the audit process to serve other markets, BRF said, and supply to the Gulf region is guaranteed by its regional inventory.

In the second quarter, BRF said it sold 298,000 tonnes of chicken in the halal market, of which 40,000 tonnes were processed. Of the 40,000 tonnes of processed products sold in the second quarter by BRF, about 25% was destined to Saudi Arabia, company filings show. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Jan Harvey and Alexander Smith)

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