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REPORTER: Disease Issues, Higher Feed Costs Curb Hog Supplies
This article was originally featured in the Fall 2021 Edition of Urner Barry's Reporter magazine.
While the world continues to strive towards “normalcy,” conditions for hog producers in the United States are anything but in 2021.
Starting in April last year, producers were plagued with an overwhelming bottleneck of hog supplies due to pandemic-induced processing slowdowns. Euthanasia of heavy hogs or piglets in addition to herd contraction efforts helped tighten front-end hog supplies heading into 2021.
Thinner slaughter supplies coincided with robust domestic and export demand for U.S. pork...
NPPC Commends House Lawmakers For African Swine Fever Funding Request
The National Pork Producers Council commended seven House members for requesting funding to protect the U.S. swine herd from African swine fever (ASF).
In a letter, the lawmakers urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to prioritize funding for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to address a potential outbreak in the United States of ASF, which recently was detected in the Dominican Republic, the first time in 40 years the disease has been in the Western Hemisphere. Funds are necessary “to ensure that pork producers in our districts and across the country do not suffer the severe consequences of a potential ASF outbreak in the United States...
VIDEO: Morning Market Roundup August 10
Urner Barry's reporters discuss cash hogs, UK beef, and US beef demand.
ANALYSIS: Cash Hog Prices Decline from Summer Peak But Remain Well Above Year Ago Levels
The summer peak for negotiated cash hog prices on a national basis was achieved on June 22 at $128.04/cwt. Since peaking, spot prices have since declined by around...
USDA to Begin Work to Strengthen Enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin work on three proposed rules to support enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act, the 100-year old law that was originally designed to protect poultry and hog farmers and cattle ranchers from unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive practices in the meat markets. USDA’s pending action was noted in the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions released by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
USDA intends to take three actions related to rulemaking in the months ahead. First, USDA intends to propose a new rule that will provide greater clarity to strengthen enforcement of unfair and deceptive practices, undue preferences, and unjust prejudices. Second, USDA will propose a new...
NAMI to Supreme Court: Prop 12 Not Beneficial to Consumers and Increases Sow Mortality
The North American Meat Institute (the Meat Institute) said the State of California’s Proposition 12 (Prop 12 or the law) provides no benefit to consumers and increases breeding sow mortality according to the State’s own proposed rule.
“The recently proposed rule by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) admits there are no benefits to Californians as a result of Prop 12. CDFA admits deaths of breeding sows will increase. Both are unintentional consequences of a costly and unconstitutional law,” said Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute. “Our petition to challenge the law has the support of more than...
JBS USA Confirms Equivalent of $11 Million Ransom Payment to Hackers
In a press release Wednesday, JBS USA confirmed it paid the equivalent of $11 million in ransom in response to the cyberattack last week which affected its North American and Australian IT systems.
JBS USA was forced to temporarily close its beef and pork processing plants on June 1 following the Memorial Day weekend. Altogether, the company's facilities account for nearly a quarter of the total U.S. daily cattle and hog processing capacity. JBS's U.S. facilities resumed full operations by Friday and are maintaining normal operations so far this week. Week-to-date cattle slaughter is 154,000 head above the week prior. Week-to-date hog slaughter is up...
UFCW Sioux Falls Union Votes to Authorize Strike Against Smithfield
The Sioux Falls chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers union has authorized a strike at the Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in South Dakota. The union met with company representatives Tuesday and said they hope to avoid a work stoppage.
The union is demanding that Smithfield increases its wages. UFCW Local 304A President B.J. Motley explained "We feel that during a pandemic year and after calling Smithfield workers heroes for coming to work on a daily basis to feed America, they haven't shown that appreciation at all during negotiations."
No deadline has been set yet for when a strike could happen. Hog slaughter operations are expected to...
ANALYSIS: Cattle and Hog Producers Weather Another Black Swan Event
In what was yet another black swan event, the cyberattack on JBS last week exemplified the severe impacts that extraordinary incidents can have on...
Lawmakers Urge Administration to Challenge Damaging Court Ruling
Congressional lawmakers are spearheading two letters to the administration, urgently requesting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) appeal a recent federal district court ruling that, left unchallenged, will cause tremendous financial harm to American hog farmers starting at the end of this month.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is urging USDA and the DOJ to quickly appeal the court ruling that, unless halted, will result in a 2.5 percent loss in pork packing plant capacity nationwide, and more than...
VIDEO: Morning Market Roundup June 2
Urner Barry's reporters discuss the JBS cyberattack, boneless chicken breasts, and cage-free egg inventory.
FBI Attributes JBS Cyberattack to Russia-Linked Cyber Criminal REvil
JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company, is returning to normalized operations following a cyberattack over the weekend that affected its North American and Australian servers.
On Tuesday evening, JBS released a press statement saying it had made “significant progress” in resolving the cyberattack and expected the “vast majority” of its plants to be operating on Wednesday.
JBS is also a majority shareholder of Pilgrim’s Pride, a leading chicken producer. Pilgrim’s has operations in 14 U.S. states and can process...
JBS Informs White House that Cyberattack is Likely from Russia
JBS informed the White House that the cyberattack on the company that impacted its cattle and hog plants in the United States yesterday likely originated from Russia.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the FBI is investigating the attack and has contacted Russia’s government. Jean-Pierre explained, "the White House has offered assistance to JBS and our team at the Department of Agriculture have spoken to...
Update: Some U.S. JBS Operations U.S. Affected by Cyberattack Today
JBS announced that they experienced a cyberattack over the weekend, forcing some shifts at its U.S. locations to be reduced or canceled altogether today. Industry sources report that JBS will not be operating any of its U.S. cattle plants today. This is expected to trim the day’s cattle slaughter by around 28,000 head from normal.
On the hog side, three of JBS’s U.S. hog plants are said to be down today, while two are operating at reduced capacity. While it is difficult to gauge what today’s hog slaughter could be, the common consensus is in the area of 400,000 head or potentially less. Analysts note that this Saturday’s cattle and hog slaughter could be very large to make up for the downtime...
The duration and extent of processing plant disruptions at JBS's facilities due to the cyberattack is not yet known and will be monitored day-to-day. Adequate processing capacity for the current level of supply is already an issue for the livestock industry, especially on the cattle side.
Major Cyber Attack Impacts JBS' Global Operations
On Sunday, May 30, JBS USA announced that it was the target of a cyberattack. According to a media statement, “the company took immediate action, suspending all affected systems, notifying authorities and activating the company's global network of IT professionals and third-party experts to resolve the situation. The company’s backup servers were not affected, and it is actively working with an Incident Response firm to restore its systems as soon as possible.”
JBS media contact Nikki Richardson explained that a solution will take time and that transactions with customers and suppliers could be delayed.
JBS Foods is the world’s largest beef and poultry producer and the second-largest global pork producer. The company has locations in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, Europe, and New Zealand...
CHART: Industry Expectations for Weekly Hog Slaughter
The Urner Barry hog slaughter poll for the week ending May 29, 2021, resulted in an average industry participant response of 2,392,500 head. If realized, this figure would represent a .02 percent decrease from last week and 20.8 percent growth over last year due to the Memorial Day holiday three-day weekend.
The Urner Barry hog slaughter poll for the week ending May 22, 2021, resulted in an average industry participant response of 2,383,333 head. If realized, this figure would represent a .5 percent decrease from last week and 12 percent growth over last year.
The Urner Barry hog slaughter poll for the week ending May 15, 2021, resulted in an average industry participant response of 2,394,000 head. If realized, this figure would represent a .6 percent decrease from last week and 12 percent growth over last year.
ANALYSIS: Cash Hog Pricing Surpasses Live Cattle Pricing
In an unusual turn of events, cash hog pricing is currently higher than not only the pork cutout, but live cattle prices...
Pork Quarterly Q2 2021: Production Setbacks Slow Growth, Boosting Prices and Returns
Global hog prices are sharply higher in most markets, as processors scramble to find adequate supplies. Higher disease losses in key growing regions, along with the lagged impact of industry liquidation during the pandemic, have limited available hog supplies. Rabobank expects a gradual recovery in the herd, yet higher raising costs and demand uncertainty are expected to moderate the pace of growth. Lower production expectations have left the market short of pork, just as demand is beginning to strengthen. The imbalance is driving pork prices sharply higher in many markets, which is slowly being passed through to consumers, contributing to overall inflationary trends.
China: Herd losses due to new ASF outbreaks and health challenges are slowing the recovery. While below earlier expectations, the sow herd is flat vs. 2020 and will expand through year-end as...
ANALYSIS: Pandemic-Related Issues Continue to Affect Slaughter Levels
Pandemic-related issues including labor availability continue to affect cattle and hog processing levels more than a year after...
CME Grain Markets Surge Following Friendly USDA Reports
Grain markets on the CME surged Wednesday following a wave of bullish USDA data in the latest Prospective Plantings and Grain Stocks reports.
The annual Prospective Plantings report estimated corn planted area for all purposes in 2021 at 91.1 million acres, up less than 1 percent from 2020 and below the average of analysts’ expectations. Meanwhile, soybean planted area for 2021 was estimated at 87.6 million acres, up 5% from last year but below the average trade estimate at around 90.1 million acres.
The quarterly Grain Stocks Report showed corn stocks at 7.70 billion bushels, down 3% from last year. Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2021 totaled 1.56 billion bushels...
Key Takeaways From COVID-19 and the Supply Chain
The pandemic has far-reaching effects throughout the entire supply chain. From processing plant disruptions to shifts in consumer behavior, industry participants are learning how to improve efficiency and reconfigure the workplace.
During a virtual panel sponsored by Kayem Foods, Inc titled ‘COVID and the Supply Chain: Farm to Distribution’, a group of experts including producer and packer representatives discussed their key learnings for both live animal production and meat processing.
Panelists included Brad Freking, New Fashion Pork; Colin Woodall, CEO, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; and KatieRose McCullough, Director, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, North American Meat Institute.
McCullough began the panel by reviewing the drastic effects that COVID-19 had on the nation's meat and poultry processing plants. In March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a national emergency. The ability to process cattle and hogs in...
US Pork Supply Chain Locked in Limbo as Producers Await Legal Ruling
The US pork supply chain faces significant disruption in 2022, when California’s animal welfare regulations (Proposition 12) take effect. With less than 4% of US sow housing currently able to meet the new standard, Rabobank expects a shortfall in compliant pork to bifurcate the US market, leaving California with a severe pork deficit (and high prices), while generating a surplus in the rest of the US market.
“Producers are reluctant to make the costly investments needed to comply with the new regulation, unless compensated with long-term premium guarantees. Packer processors and end users are unwilling to enter into long-term supply arrangements, given outstanding legal challenges to the California rule and...
ANALYSIS: A Glance at End-January Pork and Beef Cold Storage Stocks
USDA monthly cold storage data released last week showed combined meat and poultry stocks held in the nation's freezer warehouses at the end of January at...
APHIS is Proposing to Classify Canada as Level One for Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to classify Canada as Level One for bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis. This proposed recognition is based on evaluations we have prepared in connection with this action, which we are making available for review and comment.
The Government of Canada requested that APHIS evaluate and classify Canada for bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis. APHIS prepared two evaluations which conclude that Canada meets the conditions to be classified as Level One for both bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis, supporting adding Canada to the web-based list of Level One regions for bovine tuberculosis and the web-based list of Level One regions for...
Reports of PRRS and PEDv Pose Latest Challenges to U.S. Hog Producers
Despite being deeply overbought technically, lean hog futures continue to climb. Hog futures hit fresh contract highs across the board in early trading action today. Along with expectations of solid domestic and export demand as China continues to rebuild its hog herd, hog futures appear to be pricing in the possibility of short market-ready supplies heading into the spring and summer.
Market managers and livestock dealers note that producers in western and eastern hog states are currently contending with an outbreak of PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome), as well as...
ANALYSIS: Tightened Supplies Help Push Cash Hog Prices Higher
Following a tumultuous year of predominately negative returns, the tides appear to be turning for...
Extreme Winter Weather and Bitter Cold Disrupts Meat Processing Plants
Millions of Americans are currently under winter weather advisories as extreme weather continues to bring unprecedented low temperatures across parts of the southern Contiguous United States. Record cold temperatures, mainly in the South Central U.S., are expected today and can range between 35 to 45 degrees below normal, according to the National Weather Service. The Arctic air mass is forecast to modify on Wednesday with fewer record cold temperatures, but temperatures will still remain well below normal.
These dangerously low temperatures not seen in decades coupled with snow and ice have created treacherous situations for the central and southern parts of the country. In Texas, millions of power outages have resulted from...
PODCAST: Time for a Toddcast - Todd Thurman of SwineTex Consulting
This week on Market Digest we are joined by founder and consultant Todd Thurman of SwineTex Consulting. Laura and Todd speak about African swine fever in China, the state of...
NPPC Campaign Showcases Pork Producer Environmental Stewardship
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) introduced a multimedia campaign, “Farming Today for Tomorrow,” to showcase U.S. pork producers’ long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“For more than five decades, U.S. pork producers have embraced advancements that have allowed them to do more with less,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “Hog farmers have an excellent story to tell and...
CIH Pork Cutout Futures Unlock New Opportunities
With all the uncertainty that 2020 has brought, it is no wonder that managing risk has become a top priority for many companies in all sectors. To help combat this in the pork industry, a new tool has been developed that will have a lasting impact on pork sector stakeholders and their ability to manage risk. Pork cutout futures and options began trading at the CME Group on November 9 this year and have witnessed growing trading volume and interest from...
ANALYSIS: Update on German Pork Exports in Wake of ASF Outbreak
African Swine Fever case counts in Germany have exceeded 200, according to some sources. Since finding the first case of ASF on...
Dominion Energy, Smithfield Foods Complete Renewable Natural Gas Project in Utah
Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods, Inc., announced they have completed the first renewable natural gas (RNG) project through their joint venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas℠. Located in Milford in southwestern Utah, the project is now producing RNG from a network of 26 family farms that raise hogs under contract with Smithfield.
The project is the first large-scale effort in the state to capture methane from hog farming operations and convert it into clean energy for homes, businesses and transportation. Significantly more...
Perspectives: Looking at Volatility in Natural Gas Markets with APPI Energy
ANALYSIS: Year-End Chicken Production Begins to Recede
This Week in Retail: Jingle Bells, December Sells
ANALYSIS: Tightening Supplies Lift Cash Cattle Prices
Rising Inflation, Relentless Pandemic Dampen U.S. Consumer Confidence