Thousands of Brazil hogs, poultry perish in flood

Rio Grande do Sul is a major region for poultry, pork production
calendar icon 22 May 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Brazilian farm and meat lobbies on Monday revealed extensive losses of livestock from floods in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, likely leading to losses for farmers and processors and disruptions to meat production in one of the world's biggest food exporters, reported Reuters

Hog farmers lost an estimated 12,600 head after floods submerged entire towns in the state, Valdecir Folador, head of a local hog producers lobby called ACSURS, said on Monday. He noted some 30 farms were affected, including those of suppliers to BRF and JBS.

The companies did not have an immediate comment.

ASGAV, a group representing local poultry processors and farmers, calculated total losses related to the catastrophic event at 182.9 million reais ($35.8 million), according to a statement.

Torrential rains disrupted about 20 poultry farms and flooded feed factories, ASGAV said.

An estimated 279,000 poultry destined for slaughtering died, as well as 150,000 laying hens. Four meatpackers' plants were halted, ASGAV's statement said without identifying any.

Rio Grande do Sul accounts for 24.24% of overall Brazilian pork exports and for 16.23% of Brazil's chicken exports, according to national industry lobby ABPA, which speaks on behalf of the nation's biggest pork and chicken processors.

The port of Rio Grande, also disrupted by floods and landslides that blocked roads and affected a rail link to its terminals, ships nearly 9% of Brazil's overall pork exports and 6.33% of the country's chicken exports, according to ABPA data.

Folador said the total number of hogs on farms in Rio Grande do Sul is around 5 million.

He pondered, however, whether there will be other indirect losses to farmers and companies, especially because floods have blocked roads and cut access to food and water supplies for some days on certain properties.

According to Folador, lack of feed contributed to a reduction of animal weight on farms where food had to be rationed and female animals were nursing offspring.

Farmers supplying BRF's plant in the Lajeado area were among the most affected by the floods, Folador said, estimating they lost at least 60% of all hogs who died from the catastrophic rains.

That plant can process 3,000 hogs per day, he noted.

($1 = 5.1048 reais)

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