SAO PAULO- Saudi Arabia has suspended beef imports from five Brazilian meatpackers after the South American country detected two atypical cases of mad cow disease earlier this month, Valor Economico newspaper reported on Monday, citing Brazil's Agriculture Ministry.
According to Valor, the five unnamed meatpackers are located in the state of Minas Gerais, where one of the cases was confirmed. The second case was detected in Mato Grosso. The newspaper said Saudi Arabia told Brazil of the decision on Sept. 9.
Brazil, the world's largest beef exporter, had already temporarily suspended its shipments to its No. 1 customer China after confirming the atypical mad cow disease cases, in line with a health protocol signed between the two countries.
Brazil's Agriculture Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Two associations representing beef companies, Abiec and Abrafrigo, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo, Editing by Louise Heavens ) ((Gabriel.Araujo2@thomsonreuters.com;))