Brazilian group buys abattoir in Patagonia

Leading Brazilian meat industry group Marfrig has acquired an abattoir in Tierra del Fuego, belonging to a group of cattle farmers from the Magallanes region in Patagonia. The purchase involved US$8.5m.

"It's a common commercial operation; markets are solid and, with so many plants, competition is healthy and balanced," said Mario Vega president of the Magallanes cattle farmers' association, Aso-gama. The Patagonia abattoir had been purchased several years ago for US$2.5m by a group of local farmers to the Chilean system of government companies, SEP.

The Marfrig group has a network of nine abattoirs in Brazil and has recently expanded to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The Patagonian abattoir has a slaughter capacity of 300,000 heads per year. Vega said farmers should not be concerned, as a "new partner with other expectations and views, can only be positive for the region".

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