Weekly global protein digest: HPAI impacting US turkey supplies, 3rd US inquiry into chicken execs

calendar icon 10 June 2022
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Avian influenza is curbing turkey supplies in the US

Starting in the third quarter, there will be “large supply gaps” for Jennie-O branded turkey products, parent company Hormel Foods warned Thursday. The shortages anticipated in the coming months come as one of the worst-ever avian influenza outbreaks wipes out flocks across the U.S. Midwest.

US Dept. of Justice is launching third inquiry into chicken manufacturing executives

The DOJ said executives may have violated federal antitrust law by colluding to fix prices. The trial against current and former executives of Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, and other companies, which starts today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, underscores the DOJ antitrust regulators’ insistence on seeing their claims through to the end — despite skepticism from industry proponents and even the court’s judge.

Global food prices ease but still near recent record high

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) global food price index eased for a second straight month after hitting a record high in March but was still 22.8% above year-ago. Declines in the price of vegoils, dairy and sugar more than offset increases in cereal grains and meat. Compared to year-ago, prices surged 13.6% for meat, 16.9% for dairy, 29.7% for cereal grains, 31.1% for vegoils and 12.6% for sugar.

US pork, beef export sales slide in latest week

USDA Thursday reported US pork net sales of 16,700 MT for 2022 were down 48 percent from the previous week and 44 percent from the prior 4-week average. Increases primarily for Mexico (8,300 MT, including decreases of 200 MT), Japan (4,700 MT, including decreases of 100 MT), South Korea (900 MT, including decreases of 500 MT), Canada (800 MT, including decreases of 400 MT), and Colombia (700 MT), were offset by reductions for Chile (100 MT). Exports of 24,300 MT were down 22 percent from the previous week and 24 percent from the prior 4- week average. The destinations were primarily to Mexico (11,300 MT), Japan (3,500 MT), China (3,300 MT), South Korea (1,800 MT), and Canada (1,200 MT).

US beef net sales of 17,700 MT for 2022 were down 1 percent from the previous week and 21 percent from the prior 4-week average. Increases were primarily for Japan (5,600 MT, including decreases of 900 MT), China (5,200 MT, including decreases of 300 MT), South Korea (3,600 MT, including decreases of 600 MT), Canada (1,000 MT), and Mexico (800 MT, including decreases of 100 MT). Total net sales of 400 MT for 2023 were reported for Canada. Exports of 17,400 MT were down 9 percent from the previous week and from the prior 4-week average. The destinations were primarily to Japan (6,000 MT), South Korea (4,600 MT), China (2,400 MT), Mexico (900 MT), and Canada (800 MT).

China’s meat imports remain sluggish

China’s meat imports in May were virtually unchanged from the previous month at 590,000 MT, though that was down 24.7% from last year. China doesn’t provide a breakdown of meat imports by category in its preliminary data, though the sharp year-over-year reduction was due to reduced pork imports. Through the first five months this year, China imported 2.85 MMT of meat, down 34.2% from the same period last year.

China to keep buying pork for reserves

China will buy another 40,000 MT of frozen pork for state reserves on June 10. China has bought more than 200,000 MT of pork for its reserves so far this year in an effort to support hog farmers facing weak prices and soaring costs.

USDA’s semi-annual China milk report

USDA reports that in 2022, China's raw milk production is forecast to reach 39.65 million metric tons due to a larger herd and production efficiency gains. China’s zero-COVID policy is expected to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. In 2022, the resurgence of COVID-19 and government restrictions, such as lockdowns, are expected to impact dairy and dairy product distribution and use. Dairy processors are expected to increase whole milk powder production from raw milk to limit losses. In 2022, Post estimates that butter imports will increase compared to 2021, due to demand in the bakery sector. Imported fluid milk (primarily ultrahigh temperature milk) is expected to increase over 2021, due to consumer demand for shelf-stable products. Post estimates that imports of whole milk powder, skim milk powder, and cheese will be lower in 2022. High prices for imported dairy products in 2022 are expected to weigh on growth.

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