JBS closes another plant

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SAO PAULO – Despite a huge jump in operating income that led to a huge increase in net profit for JBS SA in the first quarter, the world’s largest meatpacker announced on June 3 that it had closed a plant in Brazil's Rondonia state due to lack of cattle ready for slaughter.

It’s the second plant that JBS has closed this year. On May 20, JBS laid off 650 workers in São José dos Quatro Marcos, a town in Mato Grosso.

About two weeks ago, JBS reported that first-quarter net profit for 2015 increased to $457.3 million (1.39 billion reais) from $23.2 million (70 million reais) a year earlier – a 1,892 percent increase. But JBS CEO Wesley Batista said last month that the first three months of 2015 in Brazil were “quite challenging” because of high cattle prices.

A company spokesman said the 267 workers at the plant in Rondonia were offered transfers to other cities, according to Reuters.

Brazil is in the midst of its worst recession in 25 years, and its jobless rate is at a three-year high.

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