JBS is still looking for 'solutions' to remain in Argentina
JBS is yet to decide on the future of its operations in Argentina. The company has closed four slaughter plants in the country in two years, reduced costs and changed the focus of its business, in an attempt to continue its business. "We continue to look for solutions. We want to stay in Argentina, but the government is very nationalistic," says the president of JBS in Mercosur, José Augusto de Carvalho Jr. According to the executive, there is no intention to sell these units. "Mainly because there are no buyers," he says.
With a monthly turnover of US$ 40 million in Argentina, JBS claims to be able to absorb the losses to date with the closure of its units. In total, four slaughter plants require US$ 160,000 a month in maintenance. "It is not our goal to exit Argentina or to lose money. We are downsizing to cover costs," says Carvalho Jr.
JBS has also partially deactivated a fifth unit in Pontevedra, near Buenos Aires, allocating part of the plant to rendering sebum and animal food from carcasses and animal remains. It has also leased 75% of its distribution center in the country. According to the executive, the company's fate will depend on future action by the government. Carvalho Jr. said the expectation is that Argentina will turn the corner, adding that the popularity of President Cristina Kirchner is falling, which may lead to a reverse of the protectionist measures adopted by her government.
Information provided by Valor Econômico