Pandemic keeps relevant consumer hubs of meat closed on global scale


    Policies of social isolation continue in much of the West. In the United States the pandemic is advancing rapidly, with the number of infected people exceeding 1 million. Important consumer regions have adopted uninterrupted lockdowns, such as New York and California. Important tourist hubs such as Las Vegas and Orlando are also closed. The impact is significant, and even all the stimulus packages announced will not be enough to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, producing supply and demand shocks in the main economies worldwide. In the European Union the scenario is also very difficult, with a more complicated picture in Spain and Italy. Germany was more successful with the imposition of a strict quarantine in the country. The United Kingdom, in turn, also faced a high level of contamination, besides major logistical restrictions.

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    The U.S. agribusiness was also hampered by the advance of COVID-19, leading many slaughterhouses to interrupt their activities indefinitely, including the largest pig processor in the world, located in South Dakota, owned by Smithfield. Units of JBS and other large slaughterhouses were forced to interrupt production for the same reason, community transmission on the factory floor. In the European Union, the main logistic modes on the continent are closed, making it difficult for agricultural production to flow. Besides, there are reports of community transmission in factories in Spain and Germany. In the United States, flow difficulties and supply problems in certain regions of the country are also evident.

    Shortages are already a reality in many consumption centers in the United States, the evidence already points to the advance of U.S. imports of fresh beef from Brazil. In an attempt to maintain order, President Donald Trump must decree that slaughterhouses keep working even with community transmission, observing this sector as fundamental to maintaining order.