January 23, 2019 / 1:00 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazilian poultry firm BRF aims to restore Saudi exports in three months

(Adds details from BRF statement)

SAO PAULO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Brazilian poultry processor BRF said on Wednesday it expected to restore chicken exports to Saudi Arabia to previous levels in three months after one of its plants lost its certification to export to the Middle Eastern country.

BRF said the suspended plant, known as Lajeado, had been exporting around 6,500 tonnes per month of chicken products to Saudi Arabia before the kingdom sharply reduced the number of authorized Brazilian exporters.

BRF estimated a negative impact on revenue from the suspension of about 45 million reais ($12 million) in the coming three months, or 0.1 percent of net revenues in the 12 months ending in September 2018.

The Brazilian government on Tuesday published a list of 25 meat processors with valid export permits to Saudi Arabia.

That compares with 30 plants which had previously been exporting chicken to Saudi Arabia, and 58 which had formerly been authorized to do so, according to meat trade association ABPA.

That list was trimmed due to "technical" reasons, ABPA said.

Lajeado was among the plants whose licenses were suspended, BRF said. Jataí, another BRF plant removed from the list, had not been exporting meat products to Saudi Arabia, BRF said.

According to BRF, which is the world's largest chicken exporter, it operates eight out of the 25 plants now authorized to export chicken to Saudi Arabia.

$1 = 3.7925 reais Reporting by Christian Plumb and Ana Mano in São Paulo Editing by Edmund Blair and Chizu Nomiyama

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