Pork Shortages Could be Coming to America In Just a Few Weeks
According to a Zerohedge piece on April 23, 2020, pork shortages could be a reality in the United States thanks to the economic disruption the Wuhan virus has caused.
In recent weeks, six major US meatpacking plants have closed operations because of the Wuhan virus outbreak. In other words, as Zerohedge notes, “15% of America’s hog-slaughtering capacity has been shifted offline.”
In addition, there is a risk that beef and poultry capacity could drop in the upcoming weeks according to a Bloomberg report.
Because of the Wuhan virus-induced closures, farmers have not been able to access meatpacking facilities and slaughterhouses. This has resulted in herd overcapacity and opens up the potential for mass euthanization of hogs.
Dennis Smith, a senior account executive at Archer Financial Services, believes that “meat shortages” will take place “two weeks from now in the retail outlets.” In essence, during the first week of May various pork products could potentially be no longer on the shelves.
Zerohedge noted the following:
Cold storage facilities only have a few weeks to cushion supply disruption of the latest plant closures. Bob Brown, an independent market consultant in Oklahoma, said cold storage supplies have a little more than a week’s worth of production – and wouldn’t be sufficient in satisfying demand.
In a previous piece, Zerohedge highlighted how Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef, and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, published a statement that revealed news of its major pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa ceasing operations indefinitely because of the Wuhan virus. Similarly, Hormel’s Rochelle Foods recently closed its plant. Virus outbreaks have also compelled JBS SA in Minnesota and Colorado and Smithfield Foods Inc. in South Dakota to close facilities.
On the other hand, a number of meatpacking plants have re-opened.
“It means the loss of a vital market outlet for farmers and further contributes to the disruption of the nation’s pork supply,” Steve Stouffer, head of Tyson Fresh Meats, declared.
If more plants continue closing, supply chains will get rocked and cause “weird dislocations for prices — finished products are surging, while farmers are getting paid much less for animals,” Bloomberg highlighted.
Food shortages could become a reality in America, which is often a harbinger for social unrest.
U.S. policymakers will need to craft policies to re-open their economies lest they want social upheavals to become the norm throughout 2020.