SÃO PAULO, Brazil – Higher prices for meat along with increased beef consumption in the United States helped JBS S.A. post better-than-expected results for the third quarter of fiscal 2018.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2018, net revenue at JBS was 7,531,483,000 reais ($1,987,068,817), compared with 5,406,529,000 reais ($1,426,431,578) reported in the third quarter of 2017.

The company reported a net loss of 133,490,000 reais ($35,219,334) in the quarter, compared with a profit of 323,047,000 reais ($85,231,105) reported in the year-ago quarter.

On a business segment basis, JBS USA Beef reported net revenue of $5,533,700,000 in the third quarter, down from $5,419,300,000 reported in the third quarter of 2017. EBITDA for the period advanced 10.3 percent to $446,700,000. JBS Australia was a bright spot for the company posting stronger results compared to last year. JBS said “strong economic fundamentals in the domestic markets boosted beef consumption in North America,” and “…a more diversified product mix and strategic partnerships with local and foreign key customers…” enhanced results in the beef business in the United States and Canada.

Net revenue for JBS USA Pork dropped 17.5 percent to $1,394,100,000 in the most recent quarter. EBITDA fell 45.9 percent. Increasing supplies of pork pressured domestic sales prices, JBS said, offset by declines in raw materials costs which minimized the impact on margins. In the quarter “…JBS USA Pork increased production capacity and sales of higher value-added products, strengthening its mix while meeting demand from important customers,” the company said.

Volatility in commodity markets, weak prices for chicken and larger-than-expected supplies of chicken in Mexico challenged JBS S.A.’s poultry unit Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. For the most recent quarter ended Sept. 30, net sales slid 3.2 percent to $2,697.6 million from $2,793.9 million reported in the third quarter of 2017. Net income attributable to Pilgrim’s Pride was $29,310 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, compared with $232,680 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, reported in the year-ago period.

Net revenue at JBS Brazil, which includes the company’s domestic beef, leather and related businesses, jumped 37.2 percent to 7,040,100,000 reais.

In the domestic market, net revenue grew by 23.2 percent on an 18.1 percent increase in volume and a 4.4 percent increase in sales prices, the company said.

Net revenue for the export market grew by 54.1 percent due to 30.5 percent higher volumes and 18.1 percent higher sales prices. A cheaper Brazilian real also positively impacted revenue growth, JBS noted.

Shares of JBS S.A. climbed more than 7 percent.

In other JBS news, an appeals court in Brazil ordered the release of Joesley Batista, a controlling shareholder in the meat processor. Batista was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation of illegal campaign financing and bribes paid to government officials within the Chamber of Deputies and Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture.

1 Brazilian real = $0.26 US dollars