JBS touts growth, studies production increases in Brazil

4 March 2009

As Brazilian mat producers continue to close plants, lay off workers and file for bankruptcy, JBS SA say they have experienced no margin losses in the first two months of 2009 and plan to ramp up production.

According to Meatinglace.com, the São Paulo based beef giant said in a statement that they are conducting a study in March to determine which of their plants will increase production. JBS envision hiring up to 5,000 new employees to accommodate the initiative in the first half of 2009.

JBS's announcement comes just after Independencia SA filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the United States and announced a restructuring plan just weeks after Sadia and Perdigao announced permanent or temporary layoffs of thousands of workers.

Brazilian meat producers especially are reeling from a drop-off in export business caused primarily by a global credit squeeze. Exports fell by 35% to 81.8 million metric tons in January, from 124.7 million metric tons in January 2008, and export sales dropped 45% year-on-year, according to the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association.

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