Cattle prices in Brazil are posting the biggest losses in a decade to start a year following this springs investigation into a meat inspection scandal. Bloomberg News reports that since the scandal, JBS SA, Brazil’s largest cattle buyer, is purchasing fewer cattle due to a financial squeeze on the company. Even worse, JBS no longer offers cash upon delivery of animals and instead asks to pay ranchers as much as 30 days later. The move has forced Brazil’s cattle futures to drop 17 percent this year. Producers fear they will not be paid for delivering cattle to JBS, and the meatpacker is using about 80 percent of its slaughtering capacity. However, volumes are improving, according to the company. JBS told Bloomberg News the downturn “has been predicted by several analysts since last year.” But further complicating the market is the U.S. ban on beef imported from Brazil. The nation is vowing to fight and end the ban, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the ban will not be lifted until food safety standards are met.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.