Sadia, Brazil's largest meat-processing company, has announced plans to close its distribution centre in Argentina as a result of that country's economic crisis.
According to Sadia, sales from its Argentine affiliate, which peaked at $50 million (€55 million) in 1999, dropped to $33 million last year and are forecast to reach barely $3 million in 2002.
Sadia Marketing Director Luiz Murat told Brazil's state news agency, "the fact that Argentina is inventing money all the time led to this decision."
Sadia's distribution centre in Buenos Aires had employed 157 workers for more than a year.
The number of employees dropped to 107 in the last few months, and the company is expected to eventually retain only 10 administrative employees to attend to importers.
Sadia invested $20 million since entering the Argentine market in 1992, Murat said, but added, "we can't continue to take risks in that market."