BRAZIL - An economic crisis and expanding unemployment wreaked havoc for Brazilian animal protein producers in the first half of this year, according to Francisco Turra, chief executive of the country's animal protein association (ABPA).
Meat consumption levels were strongly impacted by these factors, Mr Turra said in his half-year report.
In addition, high corn prices and the fall of exchange rates for Brazilian Real imposed a squeeze on industry margins.
The consequences have been companies closing units, or suspending leases or employee shifts, with the industry working hard to avoid redundancies, Mr Turra said.
ABPA observed a big decrease in chick placements, and reduced their expectations of poultry production volumes by 4 per cent to about 13 million tonnes. Pig production estimates have also been revised down, to 3.64 million tons, the same volume as last year.
However, ABPA still expects chicken meat exports to grow by 8 per cent this year compared with 2015, and pork exports to improve by 28 per cent. The Middle East and Asia are the main areas of growth for poultry, whilst Russia, Argentina and Chile all accelerated Brazilian pork purchases in the first half. China is a key player for both products.