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Industry Reacts to Implementation of USMCA 

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has officially entered into force, replacing NAFTA. The USDA stated that this improved agreement is a better deal for America's farmers, consumers, and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come.

Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, said, "USMCA creates more market access for farmers from across our nation to sell their wholesome and nutritious products to our closest neighbors. This is a better deal for America that will grow our economy and put more money in the pockets of American families.”

Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, stated, "This marks the beginning of a new and better chapter for trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada, just as President Trump promised he would deliver for the American people." Lighthizer added that the USMCA contains significant improvements and...

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Jul 2 10:50 AM, Urner Barry



NCBA Applauds Introduction of DIRECT Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded the introduction of the bipartisan legislation to create new direct-to-consumer options for beef producers, processors and small meat markets without compromising federal food safety standards or market access under existing trade agreements.

Introduced by U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R - At-Large, SD) and Henry Cuellar (D - 28th Dist., TX), the Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transactions (DIRECT) Act of 2020 would amend retail exemptions under current law to allow meat processed under state-inspected establishments to be sold across state lines through e-commerce, providing beef producers and local processors alike with...

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Jul 2 8:22 AM, General News


Urner Barry Announces Enhancements to Imported Beef Reporting

July 2, 2020, Toms River, NJ – Urner Barry, the leading provider of protein market news and information in the food industry, is announcing changes to the reporting methodologies for the imported beef market.

Urner Barry initiated imported beef market coverage in 1962. We are continuously soliciting feedback from participants to ensure that our coverage reflects current trading conditions and practices. To improve market transparency and to provide stakeholders meaningful information, Urner Barry will make the following changes to its imported beef reporting methodologies...

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Jul 2 8:20 AM, Urner Barry


USDA, FDA Says Food Export Restrictions Not Consistent with COVID-19 Science

In a joint statement, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., said that countries currently restricting global food exports over worries related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with science.

“The United States understands the concerns of consumers here domestically and around the world who want to know that producers, processors and regulators are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety especially during these challenging times. However, efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to..."

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Jun 26 12:03 PM, General News


Joint Statement from USDA and FDA on Food Export Restrictions Pertaining to COVID-19

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., issued the following statement regarding food export restrictions pertaining to COVID-19:

“The United States understands the concerns of consumers here domestically and around the world who want to know that producers, processors and regulators are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety especially during these challenging times. However, efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission.”

“There is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from...

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Jun 25 8:42 AM, General News


U.S.-China Trade Deal Remains Intact Despite Recent Comments from Trump Administration

Recent comments from both President Trump and officials in his administration led to volatile markets on Tuesday as industries reacted to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s comments during a recent Fox News interview.

During the interview, Fox News host Martha MacCallum, asked Navarro, “"Do you think that the president -- he obviously really wanted to hang on to this trade deal as much as possible and he wanted them [China] to make good on the promises because there had been progress made on that trade deal," MacCallum told Navarro. "But given everything that's happened ... is that over?"

"It's over," Navarro responded...

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Jun 24 10:39 AM, General News


China Approves Import of First Domestic GM Soybean for Feed Use

China has approved the import of two new genetically modified (GM) soybean varieties, including one developed by local firm Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co Ltd, its agriculture ministry said on Tuesday, making it the first Chinese engineered soybean allowed for import.

Dabeinong signed an agreement with Argentinian biotechnology company Bioceres SA in 2013 to help it get regulatory approval for production of its DBN-Ø9ØØ4-6 glufosate and glufosinate-resistant soybean in Argentina.

The Argentinian authorities granted safety approval for the variety in February 2019 but it has not yet been planted, pending approval by...

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Jun 23 8:37 AM, Urner Barry


COVID-19 Overshadows African Swine Fever, but ASF’s Influence Prevails

African swine fever remains the dominant issue in global animal protein – as it has been since 2018. But COVID-19 further distorts the outlook, constraining production, consumption, and trade.

ASF is still the major influence on global pork markets, and it continues to impact pig herds and restrict pork production in China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and parts of eastern Europe. As Rabobank does not anticipate an effective vaccine against ASF to be commercially available in 2020, biosecurity measures remain the most effective defense.

Herd recovery is underway in China, and has been proceeding faster than expected, but a further significant drop in...

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Jun 19 9:05 AM, General News


USDA Trade Mitigation Purchases to Feed People in Need and Aid American Farmers Surpass $2B

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it has purchased more than $2.2 billion of meat, fruits, vegetables, specialty crops and dairy products in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 in its ongoing efforts to feed people in need and assist American farmers and ranchers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.

USDA is on target to reach its fiscal year goal of about $1.4 billion of trade mitigation purchases in the next phase of fiscal year purchasing, which ends Sept. 30. The purchases were made through...

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Jun 19 8:17 AM, General News


NAMI to President Trump: China Must Meet Phase One Obligations

The North American Meat Institute joined a broad coalition of agribusinesses and agriculture organizations calling on President Trump to ensure continued implementation of the U.S. China Phase One Trade Agreement due to the significance of China’s market for U.S. food and agricultural exports, particularly U.S. meat and poultry products, which now enjoy expanded market access under the Agreement. The organizations emphasize the Agreement’s benefits for the U.S. rural economy, and underscore its importance to the overall growth and vitality of the U.S. agriculture sector.

The letter, sent June 16, 2020, was signed by 192 groups representing all parts of the food value chain and rural economies. The following is the text of the letter...

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Jun 17 9:58 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: A Mixed Month for Turkey Exports

For the past three months, total turkey export volume has consistently trended below year-ago levels and April was no exception...

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Jun 11 8:10 AM, Urner Barry


Pandemic's Impact on Imports Easing, but Numbers are Still Below Last Year

The impact of COVID-19 at major U.S. retail container ports appears to be easing slightly, with projected imports remaining below last year’s levels but not as much as previously forecast, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“The numbers we’re seeing are still below last year, but are better than what we expected a month ago,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “It may still be too soon to say but we’ll take that as a sign that the situation could be slowly starting to improve. Consumers want to get back to shopping, and as more people get back to work, retailers want to be sure...

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Jun 10 8:19 AM, General News


April Red Meat Exports Weather Production Challenges, Economic Headwinds

April proved to be a solid month for U.S. beef and pork exports despite COVID-19 related interruptions in production and declining purchasing power of some key trading partners, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports were below last April’s large totals but still topped $600 million in value. Pork exports remained well above year-ago levels but slowed from the record pace established in the first quarter.

“Considering all the challenges the U.S. red meat industry faced in April, export results were encouraging,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Exporters lost several days of slaughter and processing due to COVID-19, and shipments to Mexico and some other Latin American markets declined due to...

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Jun 9 8:17 AM, General News


PODCAST: What's Shakin with Bacon? Volatility in the Pork Market

Russell Barton joins the show (from a distance) to discuss the unprecedented volatility in the pork market due to COVID-19. This segment covers retail, foodservice, unemployment, exports, and more...

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May 26 12:00 PM, Urner Barry


Conagra Brands Recalls Frozen Not-Ready-To-Eat Chicken and Turkey Bowl Products

Conagra Brands, Inc., Russellville, Ark. and Marshall, Mo. establishments, are recalling approximately 276,872 pounds of not ready-to-eat chicken and turkey bowl products because the products may contain extraneous material, specifically small rocks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The scope of this recall has been expanded to include Healthy Choice Power Bowls Chicken Feta & Farro Bowls, Healthy Choice Power Bowls Unwrapped Burrito Scramble Power Bowls, and Healthy Choice Power Bowls Turkey Sausage & Egg Scramble Power Bowls produced on various dates. The products were produced at two different establishments.

The following additional products are subject to recall...

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May 26 9:23 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Chicken Exports Spring Forward as China Makes a Comeback

The latest release of the USDA’s export figures help to paint a strong underlying picture to our trade relations with key export partners, and marks a significant return of...

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May 18 8:15 AM, Urner Barry


Imports to See Double-Digit Annual Declines Even as Stores Begin to Reopen

Imports at major U.S. retail container ports are expected to see double-digit year-over-year declines this spring and summer as the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue, according to the Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Factories in China are largely back online and stores that closed here in the U.S.. are starting to reopen, but volume is far lower than what we would see in a ‘normal’ year,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Shoppers will come back and there is still a need for essential items, but the economic recovery will be...

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May 12 8:16 AM, General News


U.S. Pork Exports Reach New Heights in March; First Quarter Beef Exports Also on Record Pace

Underpinned by record production, U.S. pork exports completed a tremendous first quarter with new March records for volume and value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports also trended higher year-over-year in March, establishing a record first quarter pace.

“March export results were very solid, especially given the COVID-19 related headwinds facing customers in many international markets at that time,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Stay-at-home orders created enormous challenges for many countries’ foodservice sectors, several key currencies slumped against the U.S. dollar and logistical obstacles surfaced in...

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May 8 8:09 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


NRF Statement on Administration’s Tariff Deferral Announcement

The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay on the Trump Administration’s announcement to delay the collection of import duties amid COVID-19 pandemic:

“The White House announcement that the government is providing a limited duty deferral for importers is welcome news to retailers struggling to find any good news during this extremely difficult time. We encourage the administration to broaden these deferrals for additional relief. Retailers don’t build stores, buy products and hire associates only to close their doors for weeks at a time. The challenges to the retail industry brought on by this pandemic are...

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Apr 21 8:14 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: February Turkey Exports: Bittersweet

With February marking the second month of YoY reductions in total turkey export volume, it's safe to say that early year selling sentiment has been...

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Apr 9 8:25 AM, Urner Barry


Estimated March Imports Hit Five-Year Low, Declines Expected to Continue Amid Pandemic

Estimates show that imports at major U.S. retail container ports dropped to their lowest level in five years in March, and imports are projected to remain significantly below normal levels through early summer as the coronavirus pandemic continues, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Even as factories in China have begun to get back to work, we are seeing far fewer imports coming into the United States than previously expected,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Many stores are closed, and consumer demand has been impacted with...

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Apr 9 8:20 AM, General News


Despite Global Challenges, U.S. Pork and Beef Exports on Record Pace Through February

U.S. pork exports posted the third largest month on record in February while U.S. beef exports also recorded double-digit gains from a year ago, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Through February, exports of both pork and beef are on a record pace and account for a growing share of record-large U.S. production.

February pork exports reached 273,056 metric tons (mt), up 46% from a year ago, valued at $726.6 million (up 59%), trailing only the volume and value totals from December 2019 and January 2020. For the first two months of the year, pork exports exceeded last year’s pace by...

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Apr 7 8:19 AM, General News




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