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Nearly 65m poultry culled as Brazil strike continues

Additional 1 billion birds and 20 million pigs at risk of being culled.

Krissa Welshans 1

May 29, 2018

3 Min Read
Nearly 65m poultry culled as Brazil strike continues
Andy Vance

Nearly 65 million poultry have been culled in Brazil as trucker strikes appear to be dwindling after multiple concessions from the Brazilian government. An additional 1 billion birds and 20 million pigs may also have to be culled due to a risk of cannibalization and critical conditions for the animals if the blockades persist, the Brazilian Association of Animal Proteins (ABPA), which represents 150 companies and almost 100% of Brazil's poultry and pork sector, said Tuesday.

According to a survey conducted by ABPA of its members, trucks with feed, inputs for the production of animal feed and other products are being prevented from circulating in more than 300 points in 22 states across the country.

ABPA said 167 frozen poultry and pork plants have now suspended activities, leading to more than 234,000 employees without work.

ABPA stressed that pork, poultry and eggs -- proteins that were once plentiful and affordable -- could become significantly more expensive to the consumer if the strike goes further. The less fortunate will be the most disadvantaged, the organization added.

Approximately 100,000 metric tons of poultry and pork meat were unable to be exported since the beginning of the strikes, which is equivalent to approximately $350 million in value.

On the beef side, Brazilian Beef Exporters Assn. (ABIEC) has reported that 107 out of 109 plants have halted operations, with the remaining two currently are operating at 50% capacity. The group estimated that 40,000 metric tons of beef have been unable to be exported due to the strikes, with an approximately $170 million impact.

Further, the group said approximately 3,750 trucks hauling beef have been caught in blockades since the strikes began. Those hauling beef close to expiration risk total loss of product.

In other agriculture sectors, Lucas Trindade de Brito, manager at Brazilian grain exporters association ANEC, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview that most export terminals ran out of soybeans for shipments scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE) said Tuesday that all soy crushing units had ground to a halt in Brazil because of lack of supplies.

"There are reports that road blockades have been lifted in some places but we don't know if the units started receiving raw materials to resume crushing," an ABIOVE spokesperson told Reuters.

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Assn. (UNICA) also reported Monday that sugarcane mills and sugarcane suppliers in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where 60% of production resides, have halted their operations completely.

UNICA told Oil Price Information Service that cane fields owned by some of the mills were criminally burned after they attempted to deliver ethanol to market.

ABPA said there have been reports of threats to drivers who want to stop the stoppage.

ABPA urged rapid intervention by the government of Brazil to prevent the continued death of millions of animals, the shortage to citizens, public health problems, damage to the environment and possible closure of agriculture industries and cooperatives, which employ hundreds of thousands of Brazilians and move the national economy and the country's international trade.

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