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Smithfield Foods to Terminate Grower Contracts With 26 Farms in Utah
In a press release issued Tuesday, Smithfield Foods announced it will terminate contracts with 26 hog farms in Utah amid challenging market conditions.
The contract terminations will eliminate Smithfield positions that support contract farm relationships, said the company. The number of Smithfield positions eliminated may be up to one-third of the 210 currently employed in its Utah hog production operations. The company will offer relocation opportunities for the affected employees.
Smithfield Foods is one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies and employs nearly 60,000 people in seven countries...
North 49 Foods Opens New Sow Processing Plant in Moose Jaw
A new pork processing facility in Canada has come online, marking the first time for such an occasion in over a decade.
North 49 Foods, a division of Thunder Creek Pork, officially opened its federally inspected sow slaughter and processing facility in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in late October.
The 120,000-square-foot facility was retrofitted from the former JBS/XL Foods beef plant, which was acquired by Donald's Fine Foods in 2019.
Donald's Fine Foods already operates a hog slaughter plant in Moose Jaw that was opened in 2011...
Nepal Added to USDA List of Regions Affected by African Swine Fever
In a notice issued earlier this week, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) indicated that they have added the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal to the APHIS list of regions considered to be affected by African swine fever (ASF).
“We have taken this action because of the confirmation of ASF in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal,” said the government agency. The first outbreak of ASF in Nepal was reported by the World Organisation of Animal Health in May 2022...
Supply Concerns Maintain Pressure on CME Lean Hog Futures
Lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) extended Friday’s steep declines on Monday, pressured by concerns about larger-than-anticipated supplies outlined in USDA’s quarterly data.
The government's latest hogs and pigs report, released Thursday, indicated the number of swine on U.S. farms as of September 1 at 74.319 million head, 0.3% above a year ago. This outpaced expectations for a 0.7% decline in the nation's herd, based on Urner Barry's survey of analysts.
Prior to the report, the December contract advanced to $76.10 per cwt, a one-week high...
Record Breaking Heat Across Central U.S. Poses Risks to Livestock, Crops
The extreme heat impacting a large portion of the country this week has posed significant challenges for producers and their livestock.
Highs into the upper 90s and low 100s are forecast for a broad region between the Midwest and central Gulf Coast today, according to the National Weather Service. Coupled with high humidity levels, heat indices could approach 120 degrees in some regions. While it's not unusual for August to experience heat, the current temperatures have shattered records.
Over 110 million people across 20 states are currently under heat...
Hog Report Expected to Show 0.7% Decrease in Total Herd vs Year Prior
The USDA’s quarterly hogs and pigs report, scheduled for release Thursday afternoon, is expected to show a decrease in the U.S. swine herd versus June 2022.
Analysts on average predict the all hogs and pigs number as of June 1 to be down 0.7% from a year ago.
The average of the estimates for all hogs and pigs would project 72.016 million head, compared with 72.524 million a year ago.
The survey showed on average the number of females kept for breeding at 0.7% below a year ago...
Cattle Complex Slips at Midweek While Hogs Rally on Firmer Cash
The cattle complex on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange tumbled at midweek, sending August live cattle sliding to a nearly two-week floor. Feeder futures led the declines, with losses for the August through November contracts ranging from $4.05 to $4.55 per cwt despite weaker corn prices at the closing bell for livestock futures.
Grain futures are up sharply so far Thursday as traders monitor dry conditions in the nation's major crop-producing regions. Corn futures are up by about 9 to 10 cents and soybeans are showing...
NAMI Hosts Prop 12 Webinar With California Department of Food and Agriculture
On Monday, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) along with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) hosted a webinar exploring enforcement, documentation, and transition ahead of Proposition 12, which is set to go into effect July 1.
Speakers included Dr. Elizabeth Cox, who currently leads the Animal Care Program for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Dr. Anette Jones, Director of the Animal Health and Food Safety Services at CDFA.
Proposition 12 is a California law first approved by California voters...
Live Cattle and Feeder Futures Snap Streak of Higher Closes
After scoring fresh contract highs again at midweek, live cattle futures finished sharply lower Wednesday, snapping their nine-day streak of firmer closes.
The June live cattle contract closed 82.5 cents lower at $179.00 per cwt but remains overbought. The deferred contracts formed outside bearish reversals.
Feeder futures also scored new highs yesterday before nosediving, sending most actively traded August to a nearly one-week floor. The front-month finished $4.15 lower at $239.10 per cwt while September was down $4.25 to $242.275 per cwt...
Lean Hog Futures Boosted by Deeply Oversold Signals
Following steep declines to fresh contract lows in recent sessions, lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) closed sharply higher on Tuesday.
The June through August contracts locked in limit gains at the close and reversed Friday's declines, aided in part by deeply oversold signals. June closed at $80.825 while most-actively traded July settled at $79.525.
Hog futures may have been due for a technical correction after being overdone to the downside, said livestock dealers and market managers.
On the year so far, the nearby hog contract...
Stock Futures Inch Higher as Talks on Nation's Debt Ceiling Continue
U.S. stocks are posting modest gains in early trading action Friday as talks on the nation's debt ceiling continue. The Dow Jone Industrial Average was last 0.2% higher while the S&P 500 was also up by 0.2%. The Nasdaq-100 was 0.05% higher as of this writing.
Through Thursday’s close, the Dow has gained 0.7% while the S&P 500 has added 1.5%. The Nasdaq-100 has advanced by 3.3% on the week so far on optimism that the U.S. could avoid defaulting on its debt ceiling.
“An actual breach of the U.S. debt ceiling would likely cause severe damage to the U.S. economy,” said the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) in a blog released earlier this month...
Broad Losses at Midweek Sent Lean Hog Futures and Grain Complex Tumbling
Lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) tumbled at midweek, sending some months to new contract lows. Yesterday’s sell-off followed a recent firming trend in hog futures after the Supreme Court’s backing of Proposition 12 last week.
The June lean hog futures contract formed an outside bearish reversal Wednesday and closed $2.325 lower at $84.875 per cwt. The August contract slipped to a fresh contract low and settled $3.025 lower at $84.85 per cwt.
The cash hog market and wholesale pork...
What's Next for Massachusetts Question 3 Following Prop 12 Ruling?
The future of a Massachusetts state law called Question 3 (Q3), a 2016 ballot initiative originally set to go into effect last summer, remains in the balance now that Proposition 12 has been upheld.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court backed California's Proposition 12 in a 5-4 decision. Proposition 12 requires veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens to be housed in systems that comply with specific housing standards.
Question 3 is similar to California’s Proposition 12 and would ban any uncooked whole pork sold in the state that...
Proposition 12 Has Been Upheld — What We Know So Far
Following several years of contention, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold Proposition 12 on May 11, 2023. Proposition 12 is a California law that sets animal-welfare standards for meat sold within the state. Click here for the ruling.
Below is a fact sheet on Proposition 12 as it pertains to pork and hogs compiled by Urner Barry's market reporters. Urner Barry will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates when possible.
Industry Reaction to Supreme Court's Proposition 12 Backing
On May 11, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court backed California's Proposition 12 in a 5-4 decision. The law was first approved by California voters in 2018. Proposition 12 requires veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens to be housed in systems that comply with specific housing standards.
Click here for a fact sheet on Proposition 12 as it pertains to pork and hogs compiled by Urner Barry's market reporters.
Last summer, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) argued that Proposition 12 was unconstitutional...
Report: Smithfield Foods to Close 30-Plus Sow Farms in Missouri
Local Missouri television news station reported that Smithfield Foods will close over 30 sow farms in the state beginning this month.
Missouri’s KTVO News spoke to a Smithfield employee who claimed the company’s president announced that sow farms in Putnam and Mercer counties would begin to close starting on May 1.
According to KTVO, 37 sow farms would be shuttered in northern Missouri.
The news organization received the following statement from Smithfield Foods’ Jim Monroe, VP for corporate affairs...
Tyson’s NE Pork Processing Plant Remains Dark Indefinitely After Fire
Tyson's Madison, Nebraska pork processing plant remains dark following a fire at the facility over the weekend.
The facility has an estimated daily slaughter capacity of around 8,000 to 9,000 head and was down yesterday. USDA estimated Monday’s hog slaughter at 469,000 head.
A reopening date for the facility has not yet been announced. Some industry sources expect the plant to be offline for the remainder of the week and possibly into next, depending on how long repairs will take.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Two workers were said to be injured, based on local media reports...
USDA Data Show All Hogs/Pigs Up 0.2% vs '22, Near Expectations
The government's quarterly hogs and pigs report Thursday pegged the number of swine on U.S. farms as of March 1 at 0.2% above a year ago and nearly on target with what the participating analysts had predicted on average.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported the nation's hog and pig herd at 72.860 million head, slightly below the average of analysts' estimates which represented a herd of about 72.907 million.
In the quarterly inventory data, the USDA reported the nation's swine breeding herd as of March 1 at...
ANALYSIS: Bearish Fundamentals Weigh Heavily on CME Hog Futures
Hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have been under intense selling pressure in the latest week and counting. Since March 13, the April contract shaved off nearly 12% of its value and closed at $77.05 per cwt on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the summer contracts have seen a steep correction from around $109 per cwt at the start of the year to about $91.00 to $93.00 per cwt through Tuesday afternoon.
Along with spillover pressure from volatile outside markets due to unrest in the banking and financial sectors...
Stocks Futures Add to Gains Ahead of Federal Reserve's Policy Meeting
U.S. stocks added to Monday’s gains in early action Tuesday on optimism that the global banking system is stabilizing after UBS acquired Credit Suisse for $3.2 billion.
“After negotiations that took place during the weekend leading up to the signing of the merger agreement, UBS and Credit Suisse concluded that it would be in the best interest of their shareholders and their stakeholders to enter into the merger,” according to a press release from Credit Suisse...
U.S. Stocks Add to Volatility as Traders Weigh First Republic Lifeline
Adding to this week’s volatility, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 0.4% Friday as traders assess the situation surrounding First Republic Bank.
The nation’s largest banks, including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, have granted a $30 billion deposit in First Republic to strengthen confidence in the banking sector.
The S&P 500 was last 0.3% lower. The tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 was flat to slightly firmer and has advanced by over 5% so far on the week, its best performance in several months.
U.S. stock finished...
Livestock Dealer and Four of Its Managers Sentenced in Widespread Pig Fraud Scheme
An Iowa corporation and four of its high-level managers have been sentenced in federal court after law enforcement uncovered a wide-ranging scheme to defraud that victimized livestock producers throughout the Midwest, caused over $3 million in loss, and spanned nearly two decades.
Lynch Family Companies, Inc., of Waucoma, Iowa, also known as “Lynch Livestock,” pled guilty on July 29, 2022, to one count of Failing to Comply with an Order of the Secretary of Agriculture. On February 10, 2023, Lynch Livestock was sentenced...
Smithfield Foods To Cease Operations at Farmer John Plant This Month
Smithfield Foods, Inc. is ceasing all harvest and processing operations at its Farmer John processing plant in Vernon, California this month.
According to a statement issued by the company during the summer of 2022, the decision was made due to “the escalating cost of doing business in California”. As a result of the closure, the company will reduce its sow herd located in Utah and is “exploring strategic options to exit its farms in Arizona and California”.
The Vernon plant processed only company-owned hogs. Industry sources estimated the facility's daily processing capacity at roughly 8,000 to 10,000 head...
North Carolina Investigating the Release of Hog Waste from Lagoon in Bladen County
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources (DWR) is investigating the release of animal waste from Murphy-Brown Farm 7692 (AWS090129) in Bladen County. The facility estimates nearly 30,000 gallons of waste reached a nearby creek. Clean-up efforts are underway.
DWR was notified Friday evening of a recirculation pipe failure that resulted in a discharge of untreated animal waste. DWR staff conducted an on-site investigation. Waste was observed approximately 0.69 miles from the secondary containment on...
ANALYSIS: Turkey Cold Storage: Less Than What Meets the Eye
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Urner Barry’s Market Briefing Provides Insights on Commodity Protein Markets
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