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Turmoil in Brazil as Beef Plants Close

02 March 2009

BRAZIL - Brazil’s fourth largest Brazilian exporter of beef has halted slaughtering operations at all 11 of its plants and sent workers home, local Brazilian media reports. In addition, Independencia has not paid cattle suppliers for several days and has returned most cattle to suppliers.

According a news report from Mecropress, figures from the Brazilian Secretary of External Commerce (Secretaria de Comércio Exterior, SECEX) say that Independencia was the fourth-largest Brazilian exporter of fresh and frozen beef and one of the leading Brazilian producers of leather in 2007.

As of last December 31, Independencia's total daily slaughter capacity was approximately 12,000 head of cattle and its daily leather processing capacity was approximately 10,000 hides (not including additional outsourced capacity of 3,000 hides per day).

Brazilian development bank BNDES is reported to have a 33% stake (204 million US dollars) in Independencia, reports Mecropress.

The company has made no official statement yet, though they told agencies earlier in the week a statement would be forthcoming.

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