Record Brazil corn prices shrink poultry, hog producers
* Pork and poultry industry slashes capacity 15 pct -ABPA
* Industry's recent expansion runs into corn shortage, demand drop
* Brazil's No. 3 processor Aurora to cut capacity 8-16 pct
* Brazil economy in worst downturn since 1930
By Reese Ewing
SAO PAULO, June 3 (Reuters) - Stubbornly record-high corn prices in Brazil, the world's No. 2 exporter of the grain, are compelling pork producers to slaughter sows they cannot afford to feed and poultry processors to close plants.
Southern states that are the traditional home to pork and poultry plants have been hardest hit by soaring corn feed prices and a plunge in demand for meat, with companies closing at least three slaughter houses to cut supply, said Francisco Turra, president of Brazil's Animal Protein Association (ABPA).
As much as 15 percent of pork and poultry processing capacity has shut in the world's top poultry exporter and fourth-largest pork exporter, he estimated. That is equal to 225,000 tonnes of monthly meat production.
Pain across the massive meat industry, which is laying off workers and losing money, will deepen the stricken government's woes as the economy suffers its worst downturn since 1930. Continuación...