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.
The Attorney General on His Way Out?: Trump Mulls Firing Bill Barr, Advisers Trying to Dissuade Him
Trump is unhappy about more than just Barr’s recent voter fraud comments.
President Donald Trump is considering firing Attorney General William Barr, with the Washington Post reporting Wednesday evening that Trump “remained livid” at him.
On Tuesday Barr said that the Justice Department did not find evidence of “fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
An unnamed senior administration official told the Post that although Trump is upset about Barr’s comments, he’s also unhappy with Barr about other matters, such as his previous lack of action on the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign and his handling of John Durham.
The president is pressuring Barr to release the “Durham report,” which could implicate officials in using the investigation to target Trump for political reasons. Trump also sees Barr’s secret appointment of Durham to DOJ special counsel as a “stall tactic.”
In the wake of Election Day Attorney General Barr authorized federal prosecutors to “investigate substantial allegations” of voter fraud. But in his comments Tuesday, Barr claimed that “most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct.”
“They are not systemic allegations,” said Barr.
Trump may want to fire Barr, but several advisers are trying to persuade him not to, according to the unnamed senior official.
Either way, it’s tough to see how Barr remains attorney general for much longer. If Joe Biden pulls off the steal and gets inaugurated, he will certainly replace Barr with his own AG. And if Trump hangs on for his second and final term, he may very well want to clean house and start afresh.
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