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2023

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03

Brazil Meat Industry Dominates Lula Delegation To China

Source:

Reuters

More than a quarter of business leaders traveling to China with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva next week come from Brazil's booming meat industry, highlighting the high stakes for a sector reliant on Chinese demand for the bulk of its exports.

More than a quarter of business leaders traveling to China with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva next week come from Brazil's booming meat industry, highlighting the high stakes for a sector reliant on Chinese demand for the bulk of its exports.

 

With 69 of the nearly 250 executives traveling, meatpackers dominate a roster including wood pulp producers, a soy crushers group and executives from the mining, construction and financial services industry, according to a preliminary government list of the business delegations seen by Reuters.

 

JBS SA, the world's largest meat company, which sent about 26% of its global exports to China last year, will have around ten representatives in the delegation, including three from the Batista family that controls the business.

 

BRF SA, the world's biggest chicken exporter, aims to send five executives, including Chairman Marcos Molina, the founder of Marfrig Global Foods SA, which holds a controlling stake in BRF.

 

Other names on the government list, dated March 18, include the CEOs of iron ore miner Vale SA, planemaker Embraer SA, pulp producer Suzano SA and engineering group Novonor, formerly Odebrecht.

 

Lula departs for China this weekend, but many of the delegation's executives and lobby groups have traveled ahead of the president, government officials said.

 

JBS representatives said China is a key trading partner and the company aims to bolster commercial ties. Marfrig declined to comment. BRF, Vale, Embraer, Suzano and Novonor did not return a request for comment.

 

J&F, the Batista family investment firm that owns JBS and has interests in pulp production and energy, declined to comment on its expectations for the trip. A person close to the firm said China is J&F's largest market.