NCBA’s Kent Bacus explains why we need to import small amounts of beef
- Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade and Market Access for NCBA, recently stated in an interview that trade is one of the most misunderstood issues in the cattle industry.
- Bacus explained that 95 percent of beef produced in the U.S. is finished in a feedlot, but we don’t produce enough to meet our domestic ground beef demand.
- Most of what we import are lean trimmings to supplement our hamburger market. If we didn’t have these imports, producers would shy away from hamburger due to the short supply and instead turn to chicken, Bacus said.
- All imported beef must meet an equivalent safety standard as we have here, which is important not only for consumers, but also for our cattle producers.
- Bacus went on to say that restricting imports wouldn’t do us any good because it won’t help us meet domestic beef demand. He said often more government intervention leads to vertical integration.
- “The last thing we need now is more vertical integration, as we need freedom to deliver what the consumer wants,” stated Bacus.
Perdue suggests CFAP2 may be coming
- Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has suggested that the second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for farmers and ranchers could be arriving by the end of August of early September.
- Perdue noted that the cutoff date of April 15th for financial damages was likely not sufficient to cover losses by cattlemen during that time frame. He went on to say that the second round of CFAP payments would help “even out” losses incurred after April 15th.
- When asked about expanding the payment limits to individuals, Perdue said he wasn’t ready to answer such questions, but there has been discussion considering the expansion of such limits.
- Rules for this next round of payments, along with sign up will begin early in September.
Pepperoni shortage strikes small pizza places across the U.S.
- We’ve seen various products such as toilet paper and Clorox wipes fall victim to the pandemic. We are now seeing pepperoni being negatively impacted by the pandemic.
- According to Bloomberg, pizza shops across the nation are reporting a shortage of America’s most popular topping, pepperoni.
- A pizza shop in South Dakota is now paying $4.12/lb. compared to $2.87/lb. back in January 2019.
- Two factors have led to this pepperoni shortage;
- Pork processors have dealt with slowdowns and shutdowns due to the virus.
- The demand for pizza has risen since many people are staying home for dinner; many families have turned to ordering pizza.
- Larger pizza chains have yet to be impacted by the shortage because they purchase their pepperoni through long-term contracts.
Boxed beef prices
- Choice boxed beef: $217.26 (+3.02)
- Select boxed beef: $201.94 (+2.65)