Weak Cattle Supplies Threaten JBS Plant

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Reuters reports waning cattle supplies in Canada and Northwest U.S. are hurting JBS business at its Hyrum, Utah packing plant, threatening closure.

The JBS plant is the furthest of three Northwest U.S. plants from Alberta. It recently decreased production as both supply and demand drop. The JBS plant closing would decrease the competition in the northwest region which would lower cattle prices offered from the other two plants, Cargill Inc. and XL Foods, both in Canada.

"It would have a huge impact" to lose a U.S. plant, said Tony Saretsky, owner of Cantriex Livestock in Ponoka, Alberta, who exports cattle to the United States. "We're dependent on those packers to level the playing field as far as the overall pricing in Canada."

The U.S. received roughly 15 percent of Alberta and Saskatchewan’s cattle. Although country-of-origin labeling laws have raised costs for Canadian cattlemen shipping beef to U.S. plants, they remain active buyers in the Canadian market. JBS’ recent investment in the Utah plant will likely keep the plant open.

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Source: Reuters.com


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