SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Animal health division Boehringer Ingelheim in Brazil is preparing for slower growth because the COVID-19 pandemic has curbed demand for veterinary medical products in the world’s largest chicken and beef exporter, an executive said on Tuesday.
The Brazilian animal health market expanded by almost 10% last year, almost double the global level, according to Fabio Barone, head of the German animal health business in Brazil.
But there are signs that growth will slow down.
“The Brazilian market will continue to grow but not at the same level,” Barone told Reuters in an interview.
“This is still good news: slower but still growing,” he added, refusing to provide precise growth estimates.
Because people take shelter at home to accommodate the spread of new coronaviruses, consumers will shop less frequently at pet stores, which means less sales of pet products, including animal health products, Barone said.
But good prospects for sales to farmers, because Brazil remains a major global meat producer and supplier, he said.
“From the perspective of meat exporters, there is a big opportunity,” he said.
The pet market accounts for 40% of sales in the Boehringer animal health division in Brazil and the livestock market 60%.
Globally, Boehringer has sales of around 20 billion euros, with the company’s animal health division reaching 21%, Barone said.
The executive refused to discuss how much sales of Brazilian animal products compared to other countries, but noted the South American country is one of its “ten largest markets.”
Boehringer makes products such as vaccines and anti-parasitic drugs in the city of Paulínia, in the state of São Paulo, where he employs around 500 people, Barone said.
There were no disruptions at the factory due to COVID-19, nor were there any disruptions in the supply chain, he said.
Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall
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