The CEO of JBS, Guilherme Cavalcanti, announced in a webinar US could satisfy domestic demand for next 15 days and JBS was able to source from Australia and Brazil to support further. “Our geographic diversification has been a natural hedge for trade barriers and sanitary issues. Now, this flexibility has worked as a supply hedge for the current crisis”, said Cavalcanti.
Minerva, a Brazilian meatpacker said through their CEO Edison Ticle that they could supply US need from their plants in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, and that Minerva has already increased its exports to the U.S. since early April.
After suspending imports of Brazilian beef in 2017 over safety concerns, the U.S. reopened the market on February 21. According to Ticle, Brazil is allowed to export around 60,000 metric tonnes of beef to the U.S. annually in a tariff-free import quota shared with other nations.
President Donald Trump has ordered meat processing plants to stay open in the U.S. in order to address concerns over any food shortages resulting from coronavirus-affected workers