March 17, 2020 / 8:40 PM / 18 days ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil pork, poultry processors not planning to cut back over coronavirus

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SAO PAULO, March 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian pork and poultry processors have no plans to cut production or place workers on paid leave in response to the coronavirus crisis, meat producer association ABPA said on Tuesday.

ABPA Executive Director Ricardo Santin said by telephone the crisis is changing consumer habits but has not had a significant impact on domestic or export demand.

“Our sector is not like that of beef producers, who can leave cattle grazing on pastures,” Santin said. “We are conscious that this is a complicated moment and all of our companies have contingency plans.”

Brazilian beef-packers like Minerva have announced production cuts amid the health crisis, which started in China, Brazil’s main trade partner.

Regarding export markets, Santin said daily volumes of pork and poultry in the first 10 days of March indicate export figures will be strong and in line with the same month last year.

Given countries like China are still dealing with animal diseases like African swine fever and bid flu, Brazil will continue to benefit from strong Asian food imports, Santin said.

Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Chris Reese and Will Dunham

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