Tag Archives: Pork

BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP)– A Wisconsin-based company has decided to not reopen its flood-damaged plant in eastern Nebraska.

Jack Link’s spokesman Abbey Miller told the Lincoln Journal Star that the Missouri River flooding in March overwhelmed the company’s Bellevue plant.

The plant sits just east of Offutt Air Force Base, which sustained millions of dollars in damage. Miller says the company did extensive testing of the facility before deciding against resuming production there.

The Nebraska Labor Department says about 60 people worked at the Bellevue plant. Jack Link’s, which is headquartered in Minong, Wisconsin, bought the facility in 2012 from Skylark Meats.

Strong demand from China bolstered U.S. pork exports in October, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Export Federation (USMEF), while October beef exports were below the very high totals posted a year ago.

October pork exports increased 8.5% year-over-year to 225,376 metric tons (mt), while export value climbed 10% to $592 million. January-October export volume was 5% ahead of last year’s pace at 2.13 million mt, while value increased 3% to $5.48 billion.

Pork export value averaged $48.13 per head slaughtered in October, up 4% from a year ago. For January through October, the per-head average was down 1% to $51.12. October exports accounted for 24% of total U.S. pork production and 20.9% for muscle cuts only, up from 23.6% and 20.7%, respectively, a year ago. January-October exports accounted for 26% of total pork production and 22.6% for muscle cuts, both up slightly year-over-year.

October beef exports totaled 108,017 mt, an 8% decline from last year’s large volume, while export value ($649.1 million) was down 11%. Through the first 10 months of 2019, beef exports were down 2.5% in volume (1.1 million mt) and value ($6.75 billion) from last year’s record pace.

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $284.56 in October, down 10% from a year ago, while the January-October average was down 4% to $308.04. October exports accounted for 12.9% of total U.S. beef production and 10.5% for muscle cuts only, down from 14.1% and 11.6%, respectively, last year. For January through October, exports accounted for 14.1% of total beef production and 11.5% for muscle cuts, each down about one-half of a percentage point from 2018, when a record percentage of production was exported.

October pork standouts: China, Oceania, Central America

Although still saddled by China’s retaliatory duties, October pork exports to the China/Hong region reached 61,062 mt, up 150% year-over-year, while export value climbed 127% to $141.3 million. For January through October, exports to China/Hong Kong were up 55% in volume (468,576 mt) and 34% in value ($974.8 million). Exports to the region already exceed the full-year totals of 2018.

“China’s efforts to rebuild its domestic swine inventory, which has been hit hard by African swine fever, are gaining traction, but there are still excellent opportunities for pork-supplying countries,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “As U.S.-China trade talks continue, we remain hopeful that access for U.S. red meat in China will return to a level playing field with our competitors.”

Pork exports to Mexico fell below year-ago levels in October, with volume down 18.5% to 54,639 mt and value declining 9% to $97.3 million — the lowest since April. January-October exports to Mexico were down 11% from a year ago in volume (584,415 mt) and declined 9% in value ($1.02 billion).

“Increased demand in China is pulling some pork cuts and offal away from Mexico as well as other markets, but October shipments to Mexico were nevertheless disappointing,” Halstrom said. “The U.S. industry is still feeling the effect of Mexico’s retaliatory duties on pork, which were in place for about one year, and rebuilding pork demand in Mexico remains a top priority.”

The outlook for pork exports to Japan in 2020 and beyond brightened significantly this week as the Japanese Parliament ratified an agreement that will bring tariffs on U.S. pork in line with those imposed on major competitors. The tariff disadvantage was evident in October, as pork export volume to Japan was down 16% from a year ago to 29,622 mt and value fell 17% to $122.3 million. Through October, exports to Japan trailed last year’s pace by 7% in both volume (307,974 mt) and value ($1.27 billion).

January-October highlights for U.S. pork include:

  • Fueled by strong growth in both Australia and New Zealand, pork exports to Oceania are on a record pace in both volume (95,218 mt, up 39%) and value ($272.9 million, up 37%). The region is an outstanding destination for U.S. hams and other muscle cuts used in further processing.
  • Exports to Central America were 16% above last year’s record pace in volume (76,861 mt) and 19% higher in value ($187 million). Exports to Panama were one-third higher year-over-year and mainstay markets Honduras and Guatemala have both achieved double-digit value growth.
  • While October export volume to South America slowed slightly from a year ago (13,934 mt, down 2%), value still increased 12% to $35.9 million. Led by steady growth in Colombia and a strong uptick in demand from Chile and Peru, January-October exports to South America remained on a record-shattering pace at 128,469 mt (up 21% year-over-year), valued at $323.8 million (up 25%).

October beef exports lower year-over-year in most markets

Tariff relief for U.S. beef is also a key component of the new trade agreement with Japan, where competitors currently enjoy a significant tariff rate advantage. The rate for U.S. beef muscle cuts is 38.5% but will drop by nearly one-third when the agreement enters into force, mirroring the 26.6% rate imposed on Australian, Canadian, Mexican and New Zealand beef. Another rate reduction will come April 1, when the Japanese fiscal year begins. October beef exports to Japan were down 21% in volume (21,315 mt) and 19% in value ($135.5 million). Through the first 10 months of the year, export volume fell 6% to 263,054 mt while value was down 7% to $1.64 billion.

“Japan’s 38.5% tariff rate is the highest U.S. beef faces in any major market,” Halstrom explained. “It was a burden even when all suppliers were paying it but now it is especially important that both U.S. beef and pork receive tariff relief. Japanese customers are very excited about the new trade agreement, and USMEF and our industry partners are ramping up 2020 promotions and strategies to reclaim red meat market share in Japan.”

Beef variety meat exports to Japan (mainly tongues and skirts) have been a bright spot in 2019, increasing 21% in volume (53,432 mt) and 13% in value ($320 million, which is 40% of the worldwide total). Japan’s tariff rate for U.S. beef variety meat is 12.8%, but under the new agreement it will drop to 5.8% for skirts and 5.7% for tongues upon implementation. The rates fall to zero by 2028 for tongues and 2030 for skirts.

U.S. beef exports to South Korea slowed in October but remain on a record pace as Korea solidifies its position as the top growth market for U.S. beef in 2019. October volume dipped 3% year-over-year to 19,637 mt, while value declined 10% to $138.4 million. But through October, exports to Korea were still up 7% in both volume (215,194 mt) and value ($1.55 billion).

Beef exports to Taiwan following a pattern similar to Korea, slowing in October but remaining on a record pace. Through the first 10 months of the year, export volume to Taiwan was up 8% from a year ago to 52,968 mt while value increased 3% to $470.3 million. The U.S. holds nearly 75% of Taiwan’s high-value chilled beef market.

January-October highlights for U.S. beef include:

  • In Mexico, the third-largest destination for U.S. beef exports, volume was slightly below last year at 196,431 mt (down 1%), but value increased 4% to $916.4 million. This was largely driven by a sharp increase in the per-unit value of beef variety meat exports to Mexico, most notably tripe. Despite being up just 1% from a year ago in volume (80,789 mt), variety meat value to Mexico jumped 17% to $219.1 million.
  • Similar to Mexico, U.S. beef variety meat is commanding stronger prices in Egypt, the leading destination for U.S. beef livers. Through October, variety meat exports to Egypt were up 1% from a year ago at 53,504 mt but climbed 14% in value to $62.3 million.
  • Led by surging demand in Indonesia and solid growth in the Philippines, beef exports to the ASEAN region were 30% above last year’s pace in volume (51,758 mt) and 15% higher in value ($251.5 million). Split fairly evenly between muscle cuts and variety meat, exports to Indonesia soared 72% in volume (19,889 mt) and 43% in value ($71.8 million) from a year ago.
  • Led by strong growth in Panama, beef exports to Central America were 7% above last year’s pace in volume (12,802 mt) and 13% higher in value ($72.7 million). Export value also trended significantly higher to Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica.

October lamb exports trend higher

October exports of U.S. lamb totaled 1,193 mt, up 3% year-over-year, while value increased 17% to $2.3 million. For January through October, exports were 28% above last years pace at 13,254 mt, while value increased 13% to $21.5 million. Lamb muscle cut exports were 11% below last year in volume (1,801 mt), but still increased 4% in value to $11.5 million. Mexico has driven lamb export growth in 2019, but other markets showing promise include Trinidad and Tobago, Panama and Guatemala.

Complete January-October export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics Web page.

Monthly charts for U.S. pork and beef exports are also available online.

If you have questions, please contact Joe Schuele at jschuele@usmef.org or call 303-547-0030.

NOTES:

  • Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat, unless otherwise noted.
  • One metric ton (mt) = 2,204.622 pounds.
  • U.S. pork currently faces retaliatory duties in China. China’s duty rate on frozen pork muscle cuts and variety meat increased from 12 to 37% in April 2018, from 37 to 62% in July 2018 and from 62 to 72% on Sept. 1, 2019. Mexico’s duty rate on pork muscle cuts increased from zero to 10% in June 2018 and jumped to 20% the following month. Beginning in June 2018, Mexico also imposed a 15% duty on sausages and a 20% duty on some prepared hams. Mexico’s duties were removed in May 2019 but were in effect for much of the period reported above.
  • U.S. beef faces retaliatory duties in China. China’s duty rate on beef muscle cuts and variety meats increased from 12 to 37% in July 2018 and from 37 to 47% on Sept. 1, 2019. Canada imposed a 10% duty in July 2018 that applied to HS 160250 cooked/prepared beef products. Canada’s duty was removed in May 2019 but was in effect for much of the period reported above.

In a flurry of meeting with reporters Tuesday in London, President Donald Trump says he has no deadline for finalizing a complete trade deal with China.

China and the U.S. are still working to reach a phase one agreement, with an unofficial deadline of December 15, but an overall agreement may extend beyond the 2020 elections. Trump told reporters, “In some ways, I think it’s better to wait until after the election.”

Trump says China wants to reach an agreement, adding, “the China trade deal is dependent on one thing: Do I want to make it?” Trump claims he is doing “very well” in the talks with China. The President also pointed out the $28 billion in trade aid given to U.S. farmers, with “many billions” leftover, adding about the funds, “that got them whole.”

China wants Trump to remove tariffs in reaching a phase one agreement that also includes $40-$50 billion in purchases of U.S. agricultural products over two years.

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 26, 2019 – Securing zero-tariff access to China for U.S. pork would be an economic boon for American agriculture and the country, according to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). Based on an analysis by Iowa State University (ISU) Economist Dermot Hayes, NPPC says unrestricted access to the Chinese chilled and frozen market would reduce the overall trade deficit with China by nearly six percent and generate 184,000 new U.S. jobs in the next decade. NPPC today launched a digital campaign to spotlight the importance of opening the Chinese market to U.S. pork as trade negotiations continue.

 

“Were it not for China’s tariffs that are severely limiting access to American goods and other restrictions, including customs clearance delays, U.S. pork could be an economic powerhouse, creating thousands of new jobs, expanding sales and dramatically slashing our nation’s trade deficit. China’s actions would unleash tremendous benefits to U.S. pork producers, our nation and Chinese consumers who rely on this essential protein,” said Hayes.

 

According to Dr. Hayes’ analysis, U.S. pork sales would generate $24.5 billion in sales if U.S. pork gained unrestricted access to the world’s largest pork-producing nation over 10 years.

 

“The U.S. pork industry is missing out on an unprecedented sales opportunity in China when it most needs an affordable, safe and reliable supply of its favored protein,” said NPPC President David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. “The United States is the lowest-cost producer of pork in the world, but with 72 percent tariffs we are not nearly as competitive as Europe, Brazil, Canada and other nations.”

 

Pork is a staple of the Chinese diet and a major element of the country’s consumer price index. China’s swine herd has been devastated by African swine fever, a disease affecting only pigs with no human health or food safety risks, reducing domestic production by more than 50 percent and resulting in a mounting food price inflation challenge for the country.

 

NPPC has launched a digital communications campaign to broaden awareness for the unique opportunity for U.S. pork in China. For more information, click here.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation host’s their annual Strategic Planning Conference every November.

The meeting agenda is full of timely and informative topics. Wednesday’s opening general session will focus on the nexus of productivity, technology and sustainability. Thursday’s session will address the alternative protein arena. We have all seen and heard the hype and news coverage of these products, but how are they impacting our export markets? Hear about the expected near-term ramifications, future demand, trends and impacts on the red meat industry. Friday’s session will focus on U.S.-Asia trade relations, including an update on market access in Japan and China and the potential for future trade agreements with emerging Asian trading partners.

In addition to the general sessions, the Beef, Pork, Exporter and Feedgrain/Oilseed breakouts will provide in-depth discussion on topics relevant to each sector.  Registrants are welcome and encouraged to participate in all breakouts regardless of membership sector.

Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO.  He says he is upbeat on exports…

When looking at Japan, Halstrom says he is looking beyond 2020…

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Joel Haggard is USMEF senior vice president, Asia Pacific.  He talks on the impact of African Swine Fever…

Haggard says there is a global strain to supply protein that is needed in feeding China…

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Nebraska Corn Board Member Adam Grabenstein talks about a general session discussion on sustainability…

This is his first meeting of the USMEF & Adam Grabenstein said there was a lot of information to bring back to Nebraska…

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 7, 2019 – Today, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) launched a dynamic new campaign, “It’s Pork O’ Clock Somewhere,” to highlight the importance and benefits of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement. The campaign focuses on pork and the many ways it’s enjoyed across North America.

AUDIO NPPC’s Rachel Gantz

 

“Ratification of USMCA is the top priority for U.S. pork producers and there is no better way to highlight its importance than a campaign that illustrates how pork is enjoyed across United States, Canada and Mexico,” said David Herring, NPPC president and a pork producer in Lillington, N.C. “A USMCA agreement provides much-needed market certainty for U.S. pork producers, ensuring zero-duty market access to two of our largest export markets.”

Last year, more than 40 percent of U.S. pork exported went to Canada and Mexico. The campaign thanks lawmakers for making USMCA ratification this year a priority and highlights the history behind pork-related dishes in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

For example, tacos al pastor from Mexico have origins in the Lebanese method of cooking meat on a spit, referred to as shawarma. The tacos are a staple in Mexico City, where taco shops and stands line the streets. Last year, the United States sent more than 770,000 tons—worth $1.3 billion—of pork to Mexico.

To learn more about NPPC’s campaign, visit www.porkoclock.org.

 

September exports of U.S. beef were steady with last year in volume but export value trended lower, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports were above year-ago levels in September but pulled back from the large totals posted in June, July and August.

September beef exports totaled 109,799 metric tons (mt), essentially even with last year, valued at $661.3 million (down 4%). Through the first three quarters of the year, beef exports were 2% below last year’s record pace in both volume (991,325 mt) and value ($6.1 billion).

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $318.54 in September, up significantly from the previous month but still 5% below last year. The January-September average was down 3% to $310.77. September exports accounted for 14.6% of total U.S. beef production and 11.9% for muscle cuts only, down from 14.8% and 12.4%, respectively, last year. Through the first three quarters of the year, exports accounted for 14.3% of total beef production and 11.6% for muscle cuts, down from 14.6% and 12.1%, respectively, in 2018.

September pork exports increased 13% from a year ago in both volume (202,248 mt) and value ($532.2 million). These results pushed January-September export volume 5% ahead of last year’s pace at 1.9 million mt, while value increased 2% to $4.89 billion.

Pork export value averaged $49.98 per head slaughtered in September, up 3% from a year ago. For January through September, the per-head average was down 2% to $51.50. September exports accounted for 25.1% of total U.S. pork production, slightly higher than a year ago, and 21.7% for muscle cuts only (down slightly). January-September exports accounted for 26.3% of total pork production and 22.8% for muscle cuts, both up slightly from a year ago.

“While red meat exports face obstacles in some key markets, global demand dynamics are strong and we see opportunities for significant growth in the fourth quarter and into 2020,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Progress is being made on market access improvements and this makes for a very positive outlook going forward.”

Beef export trend to Japan highlights need for tariff relief

Beef exports to leading market Japan continue to reflect the tariff rate gap between U.S. beef and its competitors. September exports were 14% below last year in both volume (24,041 mt) and value ($148.3 million). For the first three quarters of the year, exports to Japan were 4% below last year’s pace in volume (241,739 mt) and 5% lower in value ($1.51 billion). The decline was steeper for beef muscle cuts, which were down 10% in volume to 192,676 mt, valued at $1.22 billion (down 9%). Beef variety meat exports to Japan (mainly tongues and skirts) have been a bright spot in 2019, increasing 26% in volume (49,063 mt) and 15% in value ($290.8 million). While these items also face higher tariffs compared to competitors’ products, the rate is 12.8% versus 38.5% for U.S. muscle cuts.

“Japan is still delivering excellent value for U.S. beef producers, but tariff relief cannot come soon enough,” Halstrom explained, referring to the recently signed U.S.-Japan trade agreement, which is being discussed and considered for approval by the Japanese Parliament. “With a level playing field, the U.S. beef industry will move a wider range of products to our loyal customers in Japan and will definitely capitalize on emerging growth opportunities.”

Beef exports to South Korea continue to build on last year’s record performance, as September exports climbed 11% from a year ago in volume (21,267 mt) and 6% in value ($151.6 million). For January through September, exports reached 195,557 mt (up 8%) valued at $1.36 billion (up 10%). Korea surpassed Japan as the top value market for U.S. beef muscle cuts, reaching $1.36 billion through September (up 10% year-over-year). Muscle cut volume to Korea increased 9% to 185,288 mt. Korean customs data (January through October) indicate U.S. beef accounts for 56% of Korea’s beef imports this year, up from 53% last year.

Fueled by strong demand for variety meat, September beef exports to Mexico were slightly above last year in volume (19,464 mt) and 2% higher in value ($91.2 million). Through the first three quarters of the year, exports to Mexico reached 175,992 mt, down 1% from a year ago, while value increased 5% to $820.7 million. Mexico is the leading destination for beef variety meat, and September was an especially strong month, as variety meat exports climbed 26% from a year ago in volume (9,018 mt) and 51% in value ($26.4 million). While January-September variety meat exports were steady year-over-year in volume (71,522 mt), value jumped 16% to $192.5 million.

January-September highlights for U.S. beef include:

  • Beef exports to Taiwan remain well ahead of last year’s record pace, climbing 10% in volume (47,868 mt) and 6% in value ($427.3 million). In just nine months, exports to Taiwan have already surpassed all full-year totals posted before 2018.
  • Led by impressive growth in Indonesia, beef exports to the ASEAN region were 31% ahead of last year’s pace in volume (44,481 mt) and 15% higher in value ($214.5 million). Exports to Indonesia soared 74% in volume (16,984 mt) and were 42% higher in value ($60.5 million). Demand for beef variety meat increased at an even more rapid pace in Indonesia, jumping 83% in volume (9,207 mt) and 78% in value ($18.4 million).
  • Strong September results in Central America pushed beef exports 8% above last year’s pace in volume (11,351 mt) and 13% higher in value ($64.6 million), led by strong growth in Guatemala and Panama.
  • Although volume slowed in September, beef exports to the Dominican Republic remained on a record pace, increasing 39% from a year ago in volume (6,594 mt) and 32% in value ($53.2 million).

Rebuilding effort continues for U.S. pork in Mexico; exports to China/Hong Kong moderate

Since Mexico removed its 20% retaliatory duty on U.S. pork in late May, exports have rebounded significantly but not yet to the record-large, pre-tariff levels posted in 2017 and early 2018. September exports to Mexico were down 1% year-over-year in volume (56,467 mt), but value increased 7% to $97.6 million. Through the first three quarters of the year, exports were down 10% in volume (529,776 mt) and 9% in value ($919.4 million).

“Although the U.S. industry has made rebuilding pork demand in Mexico a top priority, there is definitely a lingering effect from the retaliatory duties, which were in place for nearly a full year,” Halstrom said. “While it is a great relief to once again move pork to Mexico duty-free, ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement would certainly help the psychology of the market and bolster our major customers’ confidence in the U.S. supply chain.”

Although dramatically higher than a year ago, September pork exports to China/Hong Kong pulled back from the large totals posted over the previous two months as China’s domestic pork supplies felt increasing pressure from African swine fever (ASF). September volume was 51,192 mt, up 158% from a year ago, while value increased 123% to $115.6 million. For January through September, exports to China/Hong Kong were up 47% in volume (407,514 mt) and 25% in value ($833.5 million).

“Obviously we are anxious to learn the details of the phase 1 agreement between the U.S. and China and hopeful that it removes obstacles for U.S. pork,” Halstrom said. “Exports to China/Hong Kong are improving, but certainly not to the level that could be achieved if U.S. pork returned to normal tariff levels and if the U.S.-China agreement addresses non-tariff barriers as well.”

The U.S. pork industry stands to benefit significantly from the U.S.-Japan trade agreement, which will bring tariffs on U.S. pork in line with those imposed on major competitors such as Canada and the European Union. Japan remains the leading value destination for U.S. pork, but September volume was down 8% to 27,812 mt and value fell 5% to $116.2 million. Through September, exports to Japan trailed last year’s pace by 6% in both volume (278,352 mt) and value ($1.14 billion).

January-September highlights for U.S. pork include:

  • While September exports slowed to mainstay market Colombia and to the region as a whole, pork exports to South America were still 24% above last year’s record pace in volume (114,535 mt) and 26% higher in value ($287.9 million). Chile has been South America’s growth pacesetter in 2019, with exports climbing 60% in volume (33,992 mt) and 53% in value ($97.6 million). The U.S. is now Chile’s largest pork supplier and opportunities continue to expand as more Chilean pork is exported to China.
  • A strong September performance pushed pork exports to Central America 16% above last year’s record pace in volume (67,982 mt) and 19% higher in value ($165.1 million). Exports trended higher to Honduras, the largest Central American destination for U.S. pork, and Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua have achieved excellent growth in 2019.
  • Exports to Oceania continue to reach new heights, climbing 37% from a year ago in volume (85,557 mt) and 33% in value ($243 million), with impressive growth in both Australia and New Zealand.
  • While ASF has impacted pork production in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam but more recently spreading into the Philippines, lower domestic prices have affected the ASEAN region’s demand for imports. U.S. shipments to the ASEAN dropped sharply in September and through the third quarter trailed last year’s pace by 15% in volume (41,905 mt) and 23% in value ($95 million). However, pork and hog prices have started to trend higher in Vietnam, and the European Union’s pork exports to Vietnam were record-large in August, suggesting potential for larger U.S. exports in coming months.

September lamb exports trend higher

Exports of U.S. lamb increased 22% year-over-year in September to 1,435 mt, while value improved 9% to $1.77 million. Through the first three quarters of the year, exports were 31% above last year’s pace at 12,061 mt, while value increased 13% to $19.3 million. Lamb muscle cut exports were 9% lower than a year ago in volume (1,652 mt) but increased 2% in value ($10.2 million). Markets showing promising muscle cut growth included the Dominican Republic, Panama and Guatemala.

Complete January-September export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics Web page.

Monthly charts for U.S. pork and beef exports are also available online.

If you have questions, please contact Joe Schuele at jschuele@usmef.org or call 303-547-0030.

NOTES:

  • Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat, unless otherwise noted.
  • One metric ton (mt) = 2,204.622 pounds.
  • U.S. pork currently faces retaliatory duties in China. China’s duty rate on frozen pork muscle cuts and variety meat increased from 12 to 37% in April 2018, from 37 to 62% in July 2018 and from 62 to 72% on Sept. 1, 2019. Mexico’s duty rate on pork muscle cuts increased from zero to 10% in June 2018 and jumped to 20% the following month. Beginning in June 2018, Mexico also imposed a 15% duty on sausages and a 20% duty on some prepared hams. Mexico’s duties were removed in May 2019 but were in effect for much of the period reported above.
  • U.S. beef faces retaliatory duties in China. China’s duty rate on beef muscle cuts and variety meats increased from 12 to 37% in July 2018 and from 37 to 47% on Sept. 1, 2019. Canada imposed a 10% duty in July 2018 that applied to HS 160250 cooked/prepared beef products. Canada’s duty was removed in May 2019 but was in effect for much of the period reported above.
 

 

Meat processing has come a long way since the early 1900s, when packing plants were graphically depicted in Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle. Since that time, meat inspectors, safety precautions for workers, the use of better technology and higher food-safety standards have arguably made the U.S. food supply the safest in the world. However, there is always room for improvement, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) intends to propose new, voluntary performance standards for pork.

The final rule for the Modernized Hog Slaughter Plan was published October 1, and one of its goals is to align hog slaughter inspection with hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) principles. It will also allow market hog slaughter establishments to operation under the New Swine Inspection System (NSIS). 

Under the plan, all swine slaughter establishments must develop written sanitary dressing plans and implement microbial sampling to monitor process control. Pork sampling will increase in FY2020 and inspectors will stop testing for STEC. However, FSIS will partner with Agricultural Research Service to study STEC in pork. 

“Modernization moves inspection away from the traditional control and command approach,” said Captain Kis Robertson Hale, DVM, with the U.S. Public Health Service post at FSIS, during the 2019 annual meeting of the U.S. Animal Health Association this week. Hale explained that under the new rule, plant employees will do two points of sampling, one at the beginning and one at the end, giving plants the options for indicator product sampling.

The biggest thing that has been a source of question is the new swine inspection system. 

NSIS requirements for sorting state that establishment personnel are responsible for sorting and removing unfit animals before ante mortem inspection, as well as for identifying and trimming defects on carcasses and parts before postmortem inspection. FSIS will continue to do all the inspections it has done in the past, but sorting will be the responsibility of establishment personnel. 

“It shifts agency resources so we can do inspections more efficiently,” Hale said.

Establishment personal will be responsible for: Identifying with a unique tag, tattoo, or similar device animals or carcasses that have been sorted or removed for disposal prior to inspection, and; developing, implementing and maintaining written procedures in its HACCP system to ensure unfit animals or carcasses are properly disposed.

Plants will determine line speed
The new standard authorizes establishments to determine their own line speeds based on their ability to maintain process control. This area has received a lot of attention, Hale said, but the important point is the plant’s ability to maintain process control. 

“There is still 100% carcass-by-carcass inspection so it isn’t practical to have excessively high speeds. However, inspectors are empowered to slow the lines,” Hale said.

“Back in the day, the speed was set on what food inspectors needed to conduct their tasks. Since then, advancements in science and technology have refined our understanding about line speed requirements. We are still very much focused on hazard reduction,” she added.

Under NSIS, inspectors will be able to conduct more verification tasks that are associated with better food-safety outcomes.

“Science has been the driving force of where we are with pork sampling and slaughter inspection. By increasing industry accountability for pathogen reduction, improvements to food safety are expected,” Hale said. “It’s amazing how many illnesses have been averted by going with a HAACP approach.”

The USAHA covers topics ranging from zoonotic diseases, to regulations, to specific diseases in cattle, horses, sheep, cervids, poultry and pigs, and much more. Leaders from government, industry and academia gather alongside producers to find solutions to health issues that can help animal agriculture thrive.