Brazil flooding affects 10 poultry, pork plants - ABPA

One-in-80-year flood hits southern Brazilian state Rio Grande do Sul
calendar icon 7 May 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Inclement weather has killed livestock, blocked roads and forced meatpackers to fully or partially halt operations at 10 pork or poultry plants in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, Reuters reported, citing meat lobby ABPA on Monday.

ABPA said these plants have been struggling with a shortage of animals for slaughtering and lack of employees at the factories, which are facing "extreme issues" after heavy rains and flooding left entire towns under water and destroyed critical infrastructure.

Videos circulating on social media show dozens of dead hogs in the region of Roca Sales, on the Taquari river Valley, one of the most affected by the heavy flooding in recent days.

The animals either drowned at their sheds or while swept by strong currents, said Flauri Migliavacca, a veterinarian who verified the videos and owns an animal feed factory in the town of Casca. Migliavacca said large meatpackers sought his help to deliver feed to farmers in some of the affected areas, which can only be reached by smaller vehicles via alternative dirt roads.

"The biggest problem starts now," Migliavacca said, citing "hunger and lack of water" for hogs at large finishing facilities or nurseries. He cited farms with 500 to 5,000 sows facing dwindling feed supplies due to broken infrastructure.

Farmers are advised to ration portions to prolong duration of feed on their silos and keep the animals alive, Migliavacca said.

ABPA said Rio Grande do Sul's population could face a shortage of poultry and pork products until the production systems resume, which could take more than 30 days. The meat lobby did not have an immediate comment on the death of livestock and feed shortages.

Companies including JBS SA and BRF SA operate multiple plants in Rio Grande do Sul.

"Given its dependence on chicken, pork and processed food produced in Brazil, BRF would be the company under our coverage with the highest exposure to the state," Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients.

Rio Grande do Sul state accounts for 11% of Brazil's total chicken production and for 19.8% of pork supplies, ABPA data showed. Part of the volume is sold on export markets.

BRF shares fell about 3.2% on Monday, while JBS ended flat.

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