Current Cattle Markets Daily Headlines for Friday, September 18, 2020

by | Sep 18, 2020 | 0 comments

More African swine fever cases found in Germany

  • German officials announced earlier this week that they have discovered five additional cases of African swine fever in wild boards in the eastern state of Bradenburg.
    • When found, the boars were dead and located not far from the original ASF case.
  • Since the discovery of ASF, major markets including China, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, South Korea and Japan have banned German pork imports.
  • In response to the ASF cases, Germany has established a danger zone around the Bradenburg area and both hunting and agriculture events involving pigs has been banned.


Two Northern Ireland meat plants have been approved to export beef to the U.S.

  • Foyle Food Group and WD Meats based in Coleraine, Ireland have been approved to export meat to the United States.
  • The beef market between the U.S. and Britian has been closed since the mid 1990s when a BSE outbreak occurred in the United Kingdom.
  • In March, the ban was lifted after the UK and the U.S. were able to agree on disease control standards.
    • The first shipments of beef are expected in the coming week.


Major chicken processors named in yet another price-fixing lawsuit

  • Earlier this week, two chicken growers located in Texas filed an antitrust and unfair competition lawsuit accusing five major poultry processors and their affiliates of illegally working together to crush small growers of broilers and artificially limit their compensation.
  • The plaintiffs claim that Koch Foods Inc., Perdue Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Sanderson Farms Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. shared numbers concerning grower pay rates and have successfully fixed prices on broilers since 2008.
  • According to the lawsuit, the two growers spent more than $120,000 to improve their broiler operations to meet processor standards to the extent where they allegedly were forced to either accept “non-competitive prices” for their chickens or face “financial ruin.”
  • The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status to include growers nationwide that have been paid by the co-defendants since at least 2013, along with appropriate damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Tyson Foods maintains that they want their contract poultry farmers to succeed. The processor claims that they have never discussed their compensation with other competitors.


Market price for beef in the last thirty years shows significant disparity

  • Since 1990, the average market price for live cattle has gone from $78.50/cwt to $117.81/cwt, a 50 percent increase.
  • Since 1990, average retail price for ground beef has gone from $1.49/lb. to $4.18/lb., a 180 percent increase.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $215.05 (-0.33)
  • Select boxed beef: $203.39 (-1.12)


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How did we get here?

From the Holcomb Tyson fire to COVID-19;
Click to see a timeline of events that have brought to light the profit and pricing disparity in cattle markets.


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