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06/03/2018 - 13:22hs

Share of Minerva’s exports to Middle East up

The region accounted for 23% of foreign sales by the Brazilian meat company last year, up 21% from 2016, and Minerva reports that consumption there is increasing.

São Paulo – Brazilian meat company Minerva is shipping more product to the Middle East. It said this Tuesday (6) in a webcast that 23% of its exports last year went the region, up two percentage points from 21% in 2016.

Minerva saw foreign sales go up across the board in 2017, by 17.7% from BRL 6.4 billion (USD 1.9 billion) in 2016 to BRL 7.6 billion (USD 2.3 billion). The biggest destination was Asia at 24%, followed by the Middle East at 23%, the Americas at 18%, the European Union at 13%, Africa at 9%, the Commonwealth of Independent States at 7% and the NAFTA at 5%.

“It’s worth noting that consumption is picking up in the Middle East and Asia, which are relevant destinations, therefore our destinations are growing more diverse,” Minerva CEO Fernando Galletti de Queiroz said. The company is striving to diversify its markets, and 2017 results came as good news.

Minerva’s primary focus in releasing its 2017 results was in the expansion of its South America output. It bought over JBS’ operations in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, increasing its slaughtering capacity by 50%. Minerva is now the leading beef exporting company in South America with a 22% share of the market.

The company is at an advanced stage in integrating its new units, which it said is part of rolling out its “Minerva Model” – including operational and commercial efficiency programs and standardization of processes and building on a risk management approach. The company believes this will lead to synergy gains and competitive advantages.

Minerva is a major exporter in all five countries it operates from. When it comes to foreign sales by the industry, it accounts for 19% in Brazil, 29% in Paraguay, 15% in Uruguay, 14% in Argentina and 74% in Colombia. The company is expecting to add new destinations from Paraguay and Argentina. Queiroz said the company is in talks to ship product from Paraguay to Saudi Arabia.

Minerva posted BRL 280.9 million (USD 86.3 million) in net losses last year, down from BRL 195 million (USD 59.9 million) in net profit 2016, which it imputed to foreign exchange fluctuations. Net income was up 45.4% to BRL 14 billion (USD 4.3 billion). Last year saw Minerva slaughter 2.7 million head of cattle, up 30.2% from 2016. Besides purchasing new operations, it increased output in existing ones.

The company came out with its results a day after the launch of Operação Trapaça, a new phase of Brazilian Federal Police probe Operação Carne Fraca, which uncovered issues in units owned by BRF, but did not implicate Minerva or other Brazilian industry players. Minerva said in its webcast late on Tuesday morning that the new operation had not impacted its markets thus far.

Minerva said the probe is about a specific case and complimented the work of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply and its minister Blairo Maggi in keeping markets informed. Still, Minerva’s and other Brazilian meat packers’ shares dropped in the São Paulo Stock Exchange in the morning.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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