Current Cattle Markets Daily Headlines for Thursday, December 3, 2020

by | Dec 3, 2020 | 0 comments

Singapore issues first regulatory approval for lab-grown meat to Eat Just

  • Eat Just, a private company headquartered in San Francisco, CA has received the world’s first approval for its cultured meats from regulators in Singapore.
    • The company is best known for its plant-based egg substitute and is valued at $1.2 billion.
  • Over the last decade, numerous start-ups have been working to make cell-cultured meat both tasty and affordable with the end goal of persuading consumers to cut ties with conventional meat.
  • According to Eat Just’s CEO, Josh Tetrick, the way to solve the meat problem- which is a health problem, a deforestation problem and a morality problem- is to make animal protein.
  • Cultured meat is created by extracting stem cells from the fat or muscle of an animal and putting those into a culture medium that feeds the cells, which results in growth. The culture medium is then put into a bioreactor to support the cells’ growth.
  • Eat Just’s cultured chicken is high in protein, has a diversified amino acid composition and has very low microbiological content, such as salmonella and E. coli.
  • Since the company has broken into the Singapore market, they are now working on the regulatory process to get their cultured meat approved elsewhere in the world, including the U.S.
    • However, regulatory approval in the U.S. is much more difficult because cultured meat faces opposition from traditional meat producers, such as the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association.
  • Besides regulatory hoops to jump through, cost of production is one of the main barriers to the cultured meat industry’s success.
    • In 2013, Dutch start-up Mosa Meat reported that it cost $280,000 per patty to make. However, as time has passed costs have decreased due to scale increasing.
      • Eat Just uses 1,000 liter bioreactors to produce its cell-cultured chicken, which should give the company the ability to price its product similar to that of premium chicken.
    • Tetrick stated that the company is working to gain consumer trust and in order to accomplish this, the company will be transparent in how cell-cultured meat is produced and they will also work to remind consumers about the process of conventional meat production.


Farmer optimism fades following election

  • In November, just after the election, the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer dropped 16 points to a reading of 167. One month before that, the reading was at an all-time high.
  • According to James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, producer’s pessimism concerning future economic conditions increased after the election.
    • This is the opposite of what happened following the November 2016 election when producer’s optimism about the future spiked and drove the Ag Economy Barometer up sharply in late 2016 and early 2017.
  • The survey showed that producers expect to see environmental regulations impacting agriculture to tighten over the next five years, higher income taxes for farms and ranches, higher estate tax rates for farms and ranches, less government support for the U.S. ethanol industry and a weaker farm income safety net provided by the U.S. government program policies.


Huge packer margins

  • Last week, beef packer profit margins were $519/hd. This was an increase of $75/hd. from the week before despite cash fed cattle prices increasing $1/cwt to an average of $110.
  • Feedyard average profits last week were $88/hd., down from $96/hd. the week before.
    • A year ago, cattle feeders were making $108/hd.
  • Just last week, the beef cutout gained almost $9/cwt. This was after a $10/cwt gain the previous week.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $240.89 (-2.51)
  • Select boxed beef: $222.95 (+0.13)


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From the Holcomb Tyson fire to COVID-19;
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