Brazilian Slaughterhouse Rescue?

As other slaughter houses have cut back production, slaughter fell by 31% in Brazil in the last quarter of 2008, JBS-Friboi has begun to increase levels, primarily to take up slack left by other players exiting the market. In January it increased slaughter by 3% and in February, with the shutting down of Independência, this rose to 17%. In an indication of its aggressive domestic market strategy, JBS has announced that its board has approved the opening of two distribution branches in Minas Gerais (Contagem) and Santa Catarina (Itajaí) States, which will operate mainly in the wholesale beef, pork, and derivatives sectors.

Other groups are also taking advantage of opportunities to boost market share domestically. Bertin is moving fast, and has already reactivated its second shift in Campo Grande (MS) and has hired over 500 people. Bertin has managed to increased slaughter by 25% in January and February. Bertin also plans to open a unit in Diamantino this half of the year, designed to slaughter up to 4,000 head of cattle a day.

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