BRAZIL – Increasing tensions between Russia and the United States over Ukraine are benefitting Brazilian meatpackers, Bloomberg reports. After Russian President Vladimir Putin countered US and European sanctions against his country by banning their agricultural exports, Russian officials asked countries including Brazil to increase their food exports.

According to Quesnell Capital SA and Andbanc Brokerage LLC, Marfrig Global Foods SA and Minerva SA may take advantage of the import bans to Russia to increase shipments to Russia, which is already Brazil’s second-largest market for beef.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev unveiled import restrictions on agricultural items including beef, fish, fruit and cheese, on Aug. 7. Last year, the country imported $25 billion of products on the banned list.
In the 12 months ended in June, the Commonwealth of Independent States, which includes Russia, accounted for 19 percent of Minerva’s exports, said Chief Executive Officer Fernando Queiroz during a recent conference call. Meanwhile, Marfrig earned about one-quarter of its sales from exports in the first three months of the year.