Brazil's JBS, the world's biggest beef producer, missed forecasts for its fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday as a weak North American poultry market eroded a boost from surging U.S. beef and pork prices.

JBS posted a net income of 25.6 million reais ($14 million)compared to a loss of 67.5 million reais a year earlier, missing forecasts of a 167 million reais profit in a Reuters survey of four analysts.

Revenue surged 18 percent in the fourth quarter to 16.9 billion reais as beef and pork prices in the United States rose more than 20 percent last year. The company's top U.S. executive has said he expects beef prices to keep climbing this year due to the smallest cattle herd in more than 50 years.

But JBS's profit was hurt by losses from U.S. chicken processor, Pilgrim's Pride, which has been squeezed by rising grain costs and excess supply in the North American poultry market.

JBS raised its stake in Pilgrim's Pride to 75 percent this month in a show of confidence that it could boost the company's margins.

Source: Reuters