Industry News - AM
JBS S.A. to enter feedlot business in Argentina: report
By Tom Johnston on 1/16/2009
Brazilian beef giant JBS S.A. is entering the feedlot business in Argentina, a land better known for grass-fed steaks, as the country tries to beef up production, according to Dow Jones.
Jorge Bowie, director of the JBS Swift Argentina division, one of Argentina's largest beef exporters, is quoted as saying the company is exploring the option as a possible way to secure a more stable supply.
The effort comes as Buenos Aires strives to boost feedlot use to increase beef production in preparation of a possible supply reduction in the near future.
Rising beef prices in Argentina, home of the highest per capita beef consumption rate in the world, also have helped spur a shift from grass-fed to grain-fed production. In a few years, some 90 percent of the country's cattle will pass through feedlots, Ricardo Echegaray, former head of the national trade office ONCCA, told Dow Jones. Currently, about a third of cattle slaughtered in Argentina go through feedlots.
JBS also owns a 150,000-head feedlot in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Through the acquisition of Smithfield Beef Group it also owns Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, which has the capacity to feed more than 800,000 head of cattle at once on operations in Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.