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NPPC Urges Quick Senate Action on Legislative Relief for Hog Farmers 

COVID-related challenges have taken a severe financial and emotional toll on U.S. hog farmers, and rapid federal government assistance is needed to help thousands of pork producers weather this crisis. At a press briefing hosted by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), four pork producers addressed the crisis on their farms and called on the U.S. Senate to expeditiously adopt livestock agriculture provisions included in COVID-relief legislation recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The impact of COVID-19 has caused hog values to plummet, creating a financial disaster for pork producers nationwide who face a collective $5 billion loss for the remainder of the year. Additionally, U.S. pork producers face...

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Jun 1 8:08 AM, General News



The Trip Back to 'Normal' Slaughter Levels

Tuesday, May 26th, was a relative milestone for the hog industry as of late. The day’s kill was estimated at 405,000 head, the first time daily slaughter reached the 400,000 mark since April 17th. While this is a small victory, it is a victory nonetheless for an industry that has seen a precipitous drop in chain speeds due to COVID-19. The last time hog slaughter was near ‘normal’ was the week ended April 18th. Just two months ago, the industry achieved the largest daily hog slaughter on record at 500,879 head. As worker absenteeism and plant shutdowns disrupted chain speeds drastically during the last week of April, daily kill dropped to as low as 267,367 head, nearly 47% off its peak. 

It has been a slow but steady climb back to ‘normal’ slaughter levels. The improvement in production capabilities during the latest five weeks has helped nudge last week’s kill to over 2 million head. Early indications for this Saturday’s slaughter are pushing... 

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May 27 10:49 AM, UB Newswires


May 19 8:08 AM, Urner Barry

Webinar: UB Insights Into COVID-19 Impacts on Red Meat, Poultry 

This exclusive UB Insights webcast, aired May 14, 2020, features Urner Barry experts discussing the volatility of the beef, pork, and poultry markets during the coronavirus pandemic. Featured are beef market reporter Gary Morrison, pork market reporter Russell Barton, poultry market reporter Russ Whitman, livestock staff writer Courtney Shum and moderated by editorial director Jamie Chadwick...

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DOJ Provides Guidance for U.S. Pork Industry Response to COVID Crisis

The U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division provided guidance for collaboration among U.S. hog farmers to effectively address unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The favorable decision is in response to a “business review” letter submitted to the DOJ by the National Pork Producers Council seeking permission to allow hog farmers greater flexibility in working to maximize the number of hogs entering the food supply, minimize the tragic need to euthanize hogs, and, facilitate the safe and orderly euthanization of those hogs which are not able to enter the food supply.

COVID-related pork packing plant closures and slowdowns have caused a severe back-up of pigs on farms. Overcrowding impacts pigs’ ability to rest comfortably and may result in...

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May 18 9:44 AM, General News


Rabobank Pork Quarterly Q2 2020: COVID-19 Crisis Disrupts Global Pork Industry

Rabobank expects continued volatility in pork prices in 2020, as disruption in local markets is balanced with product shortfalls in Asia.

“The combined effect of near-term demand destruction and processing interruptions due to labor constraints has weakened producer returns and will slow production growth. Weaker GDP growth could further pressure pork demand, compounding an already challenging operating environment,” according to Christine McCracken, Senior Animal Protein Analyst.

China: Hog price strength reflects slow herd recovery and demand recovery

Hog prices remain elevated on African swine fever (ASF) herd losses and a gradual recovery in the production sector. Producer interest in rebuilding remains...

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Apr 28 8:21 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Recent Plant Closures Creating Additional Uncertainty in the Value Chain

One of the first meat plants to announce its temporary closure due to the coronavirus was the JBS beef plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania on March 31st. Since then, additional beef, as well as...

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Apr 16 8:18 AM, UB Newswires


Hog Farmers Face COVID-19 Financial Crisis 

The impact of COVID-19 has caused hog values to plummet, creating a financial disaster for pork producers nationwide who face a collective $5 billion loss for the remainder of the year. At a press briefing, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) outlined the crisis as described by producers and the immediate relief they are requesting from the administration and Congress.

“We remain committed to supplying Americans with high-quality U.S. pork, but face a dire situation that threatens the livelihoods of thousands of farm families,” said NPPC President Howard “A.V.” Roth, a pork producer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “We are taking on water fast. Immediate action is imperative, or a lot of hog farms will go under.”

The suspension of pork packing plant operations and rising employee absenteeism due to COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing harvest facility capacity challenge due to...

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Apr 16 8:15 AM, General News


Tyson Foods Suspends Operations at Columbus Junction Facility 

Tyson Foods is taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and provided an update on its business operations.

“We’re working hard to protect our team members during this ever-changing situation, while also ensuring we continue fulfilling our critical role of helping feed people across the country," said CEO Noel White.

At all locations, Tyson has been taking temperatures of every employee entering for their shift. Additionally, Tyson has stepped up cleaning and...

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Apr 7 8:19 AM, Urner Barry


Industry Reacts to Senate Passage of the Coronavirus Stimulus Package

The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is expected to pass in Congress. The Senate passed the legislation Wednesday evening and the House is set to vote today. The bill includes $250 billion to make unemployment insurance available to more categories of workers and to extend the duration of benefits. About $150 billion will go to states, distributed according to population size. Another $349 billion will be used as loans for small businesses.

Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation, said, "Companies that were investing, growing and contributing to a vibrant economy just a few weeks ago have been thrust into survival mode through no fault of their own." The Federation spoke on behalf of the retail industry in a press release by expressing appreciation for the efforts by leaders in Congress and President Trump to...

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Mar 27 8:17 AM, Urner Barry


Greece Reports First Case of African Swine Fever

Greece detected one case of African swine fever at a domestic breeding farm in the north of the country this week, agriculture ministry officials said on Thursday.

African swine fever is harmless to humans but it is highly contagious and deadly in pigs. It has spread from Africa to Europe and Asia and has already killed hundreds of millions of pigs, affecting global meat markets.

The case was found in the northern Greek region of Serres, close to the border with Bulgaria and North Macedonia, the ministry said, adding that...

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Feb 6 8:44 AM, Urner Barry


African Swine Fever Shrinks Pork Production in China, Swells Demand for Imported Pork

Although the rapid spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) across China decimated the world’s largest swine herd in 2019, it has created significant export opportunities for the U.S. pork industry. In the United States, recent industry expansion and low prices helped the industry export more pork to China, despite high retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork.

After the first cases of ASF in China were reported in August 2018, the virus spread to every province by mid-2019. Assessments by industry observers suggest that the number of ASF outbreaks and losses of swine far exceeded officially reported numbers. As mentioned earlier, China’s swine herd was decimated—both by...

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Feb 5 11:48 AM, General News


Rabobank Pork Quarterly Q1 2020: Opportunities Are Emerging from Risks

Rising disease pressures continue to challenge the global market and will remain the major change driver in global animal protein in 2020, according to Rabobank’s latest Pork Quarterly titled ‘Opportunities Are Emerging from Risks.’

“Although the severity of African swine fever’s (ASF) impact is subdued in some regions, the scope of the disease has expanded over recent months,” according to Chenjun Pan, Senior Animal Protein Analyst. “The ramifications in 2020 will lead to continuous caution on production expansion in some regions and higher import demand on the global balance sheet.” Several ongoing, regional trade-deal discussions will...

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Jan 22 10:10 AM, General News


REPORTER: For Some, Marketing Animals A Tougher Job Than Raising Them

For some livestock and poultry producers, marketing animals successfully in today’s business environment has proven to be a tough job—at times perhaps even more so than...

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Jan 9 8:18 AM, Urner Barry


Rabobank: Supply Slide Saves Grounded Demand

Agricultural commodities were heavily impacted by trade wars, African swine fever, and erratic weather in 2019. According to the RaboResearch report "Outlook 2020: Supply Slide Saves Grounded Demand," many of these factors will remain key for agri commodity prices in 2020.

In 2019, agri commodity markets were impacted by several unprecedented incidents and uncommonly severe conditions. China's hog herd declined significantly, as a result of African swine fever (ASF). This drastically weakened demand for feed and, combined with the US-China trade war, resulted in a significant slowdown in the global soybean trade.

Meanwhile, record US corn- and soybean-planting delays drove corn prices from three-year lows to six-year highs within a few weeks. Then, improved...

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Nov 20 9:26 AM, General News


China’s Recovery from African Swine Fever: Rebuilding, Relocating, and Restructuring

African swine fever (ASF) has already caused huge herd losses and led to soaring pork prices in China in 2019. We believe the disease will continue to spread in the country in the coming years. However, we expect the pace of herd loss to slow down, due to industry participants’ reactions and policy changes. Restocking will likely take around five years, but hog herd levels may find it difficult to recover to pre-ASF levels.

“In addition to the direct impact on the hog herd, ASF will reshape the development of China’s hog supply chain in the coming years,” according to Chenjun Pan, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein at Rabobank. “During the rebuilding process...

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Nov 11 8:55 AM, General News


National Pork Board Study Defines China’s Growing Need For Protein

A new report from the National Pork Board digs into the growing short- and long-term protein needs facing China and how U.S. pork can position itself to meet that demand. The new report, Pork 2040: China Market Assessment, also reveals the impact that African swine fever (ASF) is having on both China’s short- and long-term protein needs and how the Chinese pork industry and supply chain will change as a result.

The research study was conducted by Gira, a global research firm, using Pork Checkoff dollars and funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Services Emerging Markets Program (EMP). It outlines critical insights that exporters of U.S. pork can use now to position themselves for long-term success in the...

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Nov 7 8:21 AM, General News


Pork Quarterly Q4 2019 – Producers Remain Cautious on Expansion as Risks Outweigh Rewards

Global pork prices continue to rise, as protein shortfalls intensify competition for a shrinking supply, according to Rabobank’s Pork Quarterly Q4 2019.

Pork prices have hit record highs in some regions, while trade barriers continue to limit the upside in the US and Canada. prices will continue to increase through Q4 2019 and into 2020, as markets work to balance supply and demand. “Despite rising economic incentives, we expect a limited global production response, as environmental and regulatory constraints, along with the threat of African swine fever (ASF), constrain the industry’s ability to expand,” according to...

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Nov 5 8:21 AM, General News




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