Current Cattle Market Daily Headlines for November 30, 2020

by | Nov 30, 2020 | 0 comments

Steak out: China’s coronavirus testing chokes beef trade

  • China is experiencing empty meat shelves that usually stock beef from around the world, but tougher testing of coronavirus has created supply bottlenecks and increased prices for importers.
  • China originally started testing batches of imported chilled and frozen meat and seafood for coronavirus in June.
    • The country amplified their testing earlier this month after port workers in numerous cities tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Additional testing of more product and supplementary disinfection has elevated costs for importers, while also tacking on additional time and layers of red tape.
    • Some importers have cut purchases due to these increased costs and weaker demand caused by consumers’ coronavirus concerns.
      • Some Chinese beef traders have reported orders for imported beef demand dropping back 50 percent over Covid-19 fears.
    • Additional costs for importers have increased 200 percent thanks to the additional testing and the extra time that a product must sit in a warehouse.
    • In southwestern China, a beef importer reported that he has reduced imports to less than one quarter of the volumes of previous years.
      • This comes at in inopportune time with the country hitting its peak demand season ahead of the New Year and Lunar New Year holidays.
    • China says that the risk of shoppers actually contracting the virus from chilled food is low, but officials have also reported that those who handle the outer packaging of imported cold-chain food have a much higher risk of infection.
    • Chinese beef importers have also had to deal with bitter trade relations with key beef supplier Australia.


Fast spreading bird flu puts EU poultry industry on edge

  • Bird flu is spreading rapidly across Europe causing their poultry industry to be on high alert.
    • In the past, the industry has experienced other outbreaks that have caused tens of millions of birds to be culled, resulting in significant economic losses.
  • Countries that have confirmed cases include France, the Netherlands, Germany Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Croatia, Slovenia and Poland.
    • The disease has also found its way to Russia, Kazakhstan and Israel.
  • Most cases are in migrating wild birds, but there have been a few outbreaks reported on farms.
    • So far, 1.6 million chickens and ducks have either died or been culled in the area.
  • This fall, the Netherlands, Europe’s largest exporter of chicken meat and eggs, has seen almost 500,000 chickens die or have to be culled because of bird flu.
    • Just last week, a single farm in Poland saw 900,000 hens die.
  • The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported that Russia’s poultry death toll reached 1.8 million by the end of October.
    • One farm located near Kazakhstan accounted for 1.6 million of those poultry deaths.
  • There are various strains of the bird flu; the main strain found this year in Europe is H5N8, the same strain that decimated flocks in 2016 and 2017.
    • During those two years, the European region reported its largest outbreak in poultry and wild birds.
  • Almost all counties across Europe have their alert status set to “high”, indicating that poultry and birds of all types need to be kept indoors or protected to avoid contact with wild birds.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $242.85 (-2.21)
  • Select boxed beef: $220.68 (-0.22)



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