The Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) reported that the 167 meat and poultry plants that had suspended production during the truckers’ strike — which began in May 21 in protest against high fuel prices — resumed activities this week.
According to the latest figures consolidated by the ABPA together with its associates, the strike left a total impact of US$828 million (BRL3.15 billion) to the producer and exporter sectors of chicken, swine, eggs and genetic material.
Despite the recorded losses of animals, resumption of feed flowing to the field prevented about one billion animals from remaining at risk, the ABPA said in a statement.
Previously, the ABPA had reported that, due to the strike, more than 120,000 tons of chicken and pork meat stopped being exported and almost 70 million birds died.
The reorganization of the productive chain and the distribution of products after halting activities during the strike will generate extra costs for the sector. In other words, until the entire system of the sector is restored, it will be more expensive for companies to produce each kilo of meat and each egg. There will be a need to increase the supply of credit lines for maintaining the resumption of the production chain, the organization estimated.
In this context, the ABPA expresses its concern with the increase in production costs, due to the strong rise in corn and soybeans prices (which taxed the production of proteins before the truckers' strike) and the establishment of the minimum freight table. As these sectors have an intensive use of highways (for the transportation of live animals, feed, inputs and others), poultry and swine production will be strongly impacted by the new logistics costs.
Even with all the challenges that are on the list and with the natural fall of products supply as a result of the strike, poultry and swine production will remain committed to the restoration of the flow of food and food security of the Brazilian population, said the ABPA.
Despite the losses, strike has majority support
Despite the losses left by the truckers' strike, which lasted for 10 days, 87 percent of Brazilians said they "back" the movement and even defend its continuity, according to a survey conducted by Datafolha and published by Clarín. Most doubted that the government's negotiations with the truckers were in good faith, the report added.
The origin of the protest was the high price of diesel. The state company Petrobras increased it daily, taking into account the international price of oil. The price increased in the last year by 50 percent.
In the coming weeks and months, several lawyers anticipate a series of legal proceedings and arbitrations between companies and against insurers as a result of the situation that generated the strike, reported the Brazilian daily O'Globo. They could even hold truckers' associations accountable for the damages, added the report.