August 17, 2021


BRF having hard time passing higher grain costs to product prices in Q2



BRF SA struggled to pass on higher grain costs to product prices in the second quarter, its chief executive, Lorival Luz, told analysts.


On August 12, BRF reported a net loss of R$240 million (US$46 million), driven by higher feed costs and financial expenses. The company's shares fell by as much 3.5% but pared losses to 0.59% around midday.


BRF, the world's largest chicken exporter, pointed to high product inventories in certain markets as a reason for not being able to raise prices in its home market, citing Japan's chicken stocks specifically.


As global meat inventories drop, BRF hopes to adjust prices and recover some of the margins lost in coming quarters.


"The adverse environment from the point of view of cost structure affected all companies in the sector," said Luz.


Luz added that the rise in grain costs was unprecedented, recognising that it affected some markets more than others.


In the United States, for example, food companies were able to pass on high costs to prices more quickly, but that was not the case in Brazil.


BRF has plants in Brazil and in the Middle East, and calls itself a leading global halal food supplier.


In a call with journalists, Luz reiterated plans to set up production facilities in at least one country in North America, Europe or China, but provided no timeline for it.


BRF chief financial officer Carlos de Moura said a rise in diesel prices also raised costs in Brazil, as the company faced higher freight costs.


BRF also said the pandemic hampered its financial performance in certain markets, with vaccination likely providing a silver lining.


- Reuters