Thursday, March 23, 2017

Brazil’s meat exports plummet

Brazil’s meat exports have plunged from an average $63 million per day to $74,000 following revelations that federal police have uncovered scandals at 21 plants.

Police say food-safety inspectors were bribed and as a result, some meat that was treated with acid to mask putrid rotting conditions and some processed products containing cardboard passed inspection. 

The government has fired 33 meat inspectors.

Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi provided the figures on exports during a hearing in the Senate.

The 21 plants investigated represent a small fraction of the Brazilian meat industry, which has more than 4,000 facilities in operation, but many countries importing meat from Brazil have been banning products since Friday as a precautionary measure.

Canada has suspended imports from two companies.

China, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, South Africa and the European Union are among the countries that have suspended purchases, partially or completely.

Moody's Investors Service said in a report released Tuesday that the main negative impact of reduced meat sales should be felt by BRF S.A and, to a lesser extent, by JBS.

BRF is a major poultry processor and three of its plants were closed by federal police. The single JBS plant that’s among the 21 has been allowed to continue operations.