Brazil’s Meatpackers Curb Production as China Beef Ban Lingers


·         Half of slaughtering capacity is idle in world’s top exporter

·         Production pace slowed down amid weak local demand, high costs


By Tatiana Freitas, Bloomberg

October 8, 2021


Brazilian meatpackers are idling more capacity amid a protracted trade spat with China and dwindling domestic demand for steak and other cuts of meat.


Half of slaughtering capacity in the world’s biggest beef exporter was idle in September, according to Jessica Olivier, an analyst at consulting firm Scot Consultoria. Meat processing has been slowing for the past year and last month dipped to the lowest in data going back to 2012.


The Brazilian government voluntarily suspended beef sales to China early last month after two cases of mad-cow disease were detected. Although the World Organization for Animal Health found that the cases pose no risk to the food-supply chain, China hasn’t resumed shipments.


Others importers such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia also aren’t purchasing Brazilian beef in response to the mad-cow diagnoses. The robust U.S. market has provided a partial outlet, tripling orders from Brazilian packers this year...