Cyberattack on JBS has only ‘slight’ impact on China’s meat imports

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A cyberattack on Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest meatpacker that exports one-third of its products to China, only has a slight impact on China’s meat imports, though some importers may be worried about potential disruptions, industry insiders said on Wednesday.

Cyberattack on JBS has only ‘slight’ impact on China’s meat imports

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The company’s production around the world, including North America and Australia, was disrupted by the cyberattack on Sunday, according to media reports.

The company said Tuesday that it was expecting “vast majority” of its factories to return to operation on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

In China, the disruption has so far had no significant impact on imports, according to businesses and industry insiders.

“JBS SA has been following up with the issue and taking actions immediately, so our company’s operations have not been affected by the attack,” a beef importer surnamed Fu in Chengdu, Southwest China’s Sichuan told the Global Times on Wednesday, noting that his orders from the company are being shipped normally.

However, there could be a slight impact on China’s meat imports, as the country purchases meat from more than 40 countries, with JBS accounting for up to 1 percent of the country’s total meat imported, Gao Guan, deputy director of the China Meat Association (CMA), told the Global Times on Wednesday, adding that such issue of hacking could be quickly solved.

Pan Chenjun, senior analyst at Netherlands-based Rabobank, said that the attack will temporarily affect operations of related plants, and restoring computers and related systems will take a few days.

“For importers that have some stockpiles, the impact will be minimal. Those who are running out of stock may become a bit anxious,” Pan told the Global Times on Wednesday.

China accounted for roughly one-third of the company’s exports in 2020 and there would still be room for growth, André Nogueira, CEO of the company’s US operation, told Reuters in March, adding that the company was anticipating strong demand for meat from China in 2021.

JBS’s profit in the fourth quarter of 2020 increased 65 percent from the previous year, which was largely boosted by strong exports to China, according to Reuters.

JBS said on Monday that it determined an organized cyberattack on Sunday, which affected some of the severs supporting its North American and Australian IT systems, and the company took immediate actions to suspend all affected systems and restore them as soon as possible.

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The company’s fed-beef and regional beef plants in the US were forced to shut down, with the operations of other JBS meatpacking facilities in the country also disrupted, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

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Source : China | Photocredit : Google

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