Brazilian food processor urges government to act on foreign tariffs

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, August 10 (Reuters)Aurora Alimentos, Brazil’s third-largest pork and poultry processor,urged the government to initiate talks to lower food import tariffs levied by potential overseas customers, including South Korea and India.

Aurora chief executive Neivor Canton said Brazil had made “many attempts” to persuade countries to reduce or eliminate levies.

“There is resistance at the moment,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry event. “Trade has to be reciprocal, two-way. And we’re not ready to buy what they might sell,” he said, referring specifically to India.

He recounted the event the was a 100% price to sell Brazilian chicken to India, a huge market that companies want to access more competitively, and 25% tariff to sell pork to South Korea.

His request to prioritize tariff negotiations comes at a time of rising grain prices, cost pressures on food processors and soaring global food inflation.

Anya drop in tariffs, even if only by a small percentage, would be welcomed across the industry, he said.

“The tariffs take away our margin. Today, if I have a 5% margin, I’m already happy. Imagine paying 25%!”

BBrazil accounts for 38% of global chicken supply and 11% of pork supply, according to Lorival Luz, chief executive of competitor BRF, who presented the data at the same event.

(Reporting by Ana Mano; editing by Jonathan Oatis and John Stonestreet)

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