July 8, 2011
JBS wagers on US meat sales rebound amid weak dollar
JBS, a major global beef producer, is betting on a rebound in US meat sales as a weak dollar makes the country's meat output as competitive as in emerging markets.
The US is gaining market share of beef, pork and poultry exports as labour, raw-material and other costs surge in Brazil, Russia and other emerging markets, Chief Executive Officer Wesley Batista said. US poultry, beef and pork prices will increase "significantly" by year-end as overseas demand rises, he said.
"For the first time in more than a hundred years, beef production costs in the US are the same as those in Brazil," Batista said at the Bloomberg office in Sao Paulo. "A weak dollar is boosting US exports and transforming the country into a very competitive protein player."
JBS became the world's second-largest poultry producer and the US' biggest pork company through 11 acquisitions since 2008, including Pilgrim's Pride Corp. (PPC) and Smithfield Foods Inc. US beef export volumes jumped 31% and pork exports rose 19% through April this year, the latest data available, according to the USDA.
Emerging market currencies gained, on average, 13% against the US dollar in the past 12 months, according to JPMorgan Chase Bank.