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Chinese demand for imported meat is expected to reach its peak in 2020, according to Gilberto Tomazoni, CEO of meat processing giant JBS.
Speaking during a debate promoted by Credit Suisse on January 29, Tomazoni said that 2019 was still marked by the liquidation of the hog herd in China, which momentarily expanded the meat supply in the country for most of the year but that will now cause a shortage. Also present in the debate, Lorival Luz, CEO, BRF, said he was optimistic about Chinese demand and the trend is positive for 2020 and 2021, while Eduardo Miron, CEO, Marfrig Global Foods, forecasts that China would authorise more Brazilian slaughterhouses to export to the country.
According to local press, following the debate, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade) opened an investigation on January 30, on suspicion that JBS and BRF could be operating a cartel. During the debate, the CEOs of both meat processors stated that they would increase the prices of their products in the country due to higher corn prices, but that by how much would depend on the strategy of each company. The allegations are said to have been rejected by both companies, which had not been notified of the investigation, it is claimed. BRF has stated that "it acts according to the competition rules".
Sources: Gazeta do Povo/Beef Point