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Alberta JBS Beef Plant Up And Running Following Cyberattack

The JBS beef processing facility in Brooks, Alberta is back up and running after a cyberattack earlier this week impacted the company's operations in North America and Australia.

Brian Perillat is a manager/senior analyst at Canfax.

"Basically it started in Australia where they've been struggling the most and haven't been running for a few days and it did affect North America. On Monday, JBS did not run, but by Tuesday afternoon already, they were putting in their second shift and it sounds like they're pretty much going as normal. The U.S. is impacted obviously, they're facing a bit of a backlog of cattle already so certainly a concern when they went down. It sounds like for the most part the U.S. packers are close to normal."

He notes the Alberta plant will be looking to make up for lost time.

"They lost a day and a half. They'll probably run Saturday to make that up. Maybe put more focus on the fed cattle. I would say for the most part, there's a bit of a sigh of relief as long as it continues to go smoothly now."

Perillat commented on cattle prices.

"We're in good shape, our basis, we continue to be at a huge premium to the United States. Pretty much record large. We're 18 or 19 cents a pound premium to the U.S. fed market...Feedlots have not had much profits the last couple of years but there might even be a few dollars profit with some of these cattle. It's better than it's been, for sure."

He also touched on the dry conditions.

"Certainly the U.S., we've seen they've had some huge cow slaughters down there. The U.S. cow heard is shrinking. Western Canada and Manitoba, there's been a few places they've even had some pairs being sold. We've got some rain in a lot of areas but it hasn't really been enough. We're certainly going to need quite a bit more, it was just so dry prior to the rain. Right now, we're not seeing too much of a change. Auction mart numbers are really dwindling. So far we're just crossing our fingers we get some moisture without too much more heat. Certainly could continue to see a few more cows move around."

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