Chicken, pork, and beef producers should all see better days over the next 12 months in spite of specific challenges in each segment.
The industry website Meating Place Dot Com notes one industry analyst, Jeremy Scott of Mizuho Securities, who says the worst is behind us in the chicken market. That specific market segment had one of its most difficult stretches in the last five years during December and January.
Scott says a “substantial improvement” in U.S. chicken profit margins will be powered by better exports and a less-than-expected ramp up in new capacity. He says poultry margins are starting to move higher during a faster-than-expected price recovery and a boost in chicken products featured in both restaurants and retail establishments.
Looking at other protein sectors, Scott sees beef packer margins continuing to trend favorably this year. That’s in spite of being off their seasonal highs and featured support at the retail level is beginning to shift away from beef and to chicken. A healthy animal supply and solid exports should continue to support the higher-than-normal packer margins over the next six months.
As for the pork sector, the African Swine Fever virus will put a healthy dent in China’s hog population. He adds there likely won’t be a significant jump in Chinese pork imports until ASF is under control and the transportation and trade restrictions are ended.
The Pork Checkoff’s Swine Health Committee met last week during the National Pork Board’s Unified Research Meeting to discuss the industry’s swine health concerns, to review research proposals and to develop a plan of action for activities in 2019. As expected, the committee spent the majority of its time on African swine fever (ASF) and discussed what it can do to aid in the prevention of the disease in the United States.
The Swine Health Committee’s plan of action for ASF includes:
- Development of a task force to specifically look at ASF risks and action items that will focus on:
- Prioritizing tactics, developing strategies and identifying resources to aid in the reduction of risk to ASF introduction
- Focusing communications, education and research activities across the pork chain to elevate the importance of keeping ASF and all foreign animal diseases out of the United States
- Monitoring progress and addressing new issues as they arise
- Continuation of aggressive support and promotion of the Secure Pork Supply plan and the accompanying data management platform, AgView.
- Ongoing work with allied associations to ensure collaboration and cooperation among all industry partners.
Thousands of Poles are protesting a government plan to hold a massive slaughter of wild boars as a way to stop the spread of the deadly African swine fever among farm pigs.
Environmentalists say up to 200,000 wild boars, including pregnant females, could be killed across Poland by the end of January in the action approved by Poland’s veterinary and farming officials. They are petitioning officials to change the plan and scheduling street protests.
Officials say the mass hunt is a way of stopping African swine fever that has been spreading in farms in eastern Poland. Residents on city outskirts also often complain about wild boars roaming in search for food.
Environmentalists and some hunters say it’s a pointless slaughter that will only cause the animals to migrate elsewhere.