The site will be closed from 17 to 30 June, “for preventive maintenance purposes, in order to increase its efficiency and reach high levels of productivity”.
A statement from the business explained that the furlough was occurring at the same time as suspension of Brazilian beef exports to China, due to the confirmation of an atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) case in Mato Grosso state.
Minerva exports to China from its Barretos plant, which has a daily slaughtering capacity of 840 head. However, it said that its ability to export to China via subsidiary Athena Foods was 6.7 times higher than in Brazil, taking into account three slaughter units in Uruguay, which have a total daily slaughtering of 3,200 head, and a Rosario plant in Argentina, which has a daily slaughtering capacity of 2,400 head. The sites in Uruguay and Argentina have not been affected by the suspension.
A suspension of beef exports to China was announced earlier this month. When announced, Minerva said that it believed that the suspension of Brazilian beef exports to China would be temporary and expected them to recover soon.
China was the only market with which Brazil temporarily halted trading due to the BSE confirmation. The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply said the case wouldn’t alter Brazilian sanitary status, which is considered an insignificant risk for the disease. The OIE also stated that there would be no additional reports on the case.