Pork is delicious and a profitable meat to sell as well as one often consumed by the poor because it has many uses. However, a recent report on futures by way of Bloomberg says that it may become a difficult meat for many as “shortages” while up to 25% of the nation’s pork production has come to an absolute stop.
The U.S. is edging closer to possible meat shortages with another major plant taken off line.
About a quarter of American pork production and 10% of beef output has now been shuttered, according to the United Food & Commercial Workers, which estimates that 13 U.S. plants are down.
On Thursday, Tyson Foods Inc. said it was shutting its beef facility in Pasco, Washington, fresh on the heels of the company idling two key pork plants. Case counts are continuing to mount, including in Canada, where industry groups are saying they’ll probably hold back some supplies usually exported to the U.S. And the head of JBS SA, the world’s top meat producer, is warning of shortfalls.
Meanwhile, 100 U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors have tested positive for the coronavirus. The workers, part of the Food Safety and Inspection Service that employs about 6,500 inspectors, have been traveling between plants with known infections to other facilities. And at least one inspector has died after apparently contracting Covid-19, according to information the federal agency provided Thursday during a phone call with consumer groups.
The infections among inspectors are adding to fears that shutdowns will keep occurring, especially if the sick USDA employees bring the infection to plants where there’s not yet an outbreak.
“A traveling inspector bringing in the disease is our biggest worry,” said Mike Callicrate, a rancher, processor and advocate in Kansas.
Meat prices are surging on the disruptions. U.S. wholesale beef hit the highest on record. Pork bellies, the cut turned into bacon, soared 137% in the five days through Wednesday.
Things are so dire that Iowa, the biggest hog state, activated the National Guard to help protect supplies. (source)
I will say this, that while I cannot prove it, there is a strong chance this “shortage” is politically manufactured. It does not exist in reality, but is being created.
I have noted many times that pork is tied to Chinese agricultural policy. With 80% of the worlds pork coming from 10 countries, the leading one being the US. With the spread of swine flu that has decimated world swine stocks of up to 25%, and now with the current “food crisis”, the global shortage of pork will mean what I have said for a long time- it means more expensive prices for Americans, but a crisis for the Chinese of national proportions. Americans may not be able to enjoy delicious ribs, chops, and bacon as much, but for the Chinese, who rely on pork as a staple of their diets, pork shortages create the conditions for starvation.
It is almost too geopoltically perfect that the shortage is happening during the same time as the COVID-19 virus, as the Chinese handling of the virus, no matter what one wants to believe happened, has made them appear to be fools who are dangerous and irresponsible before the entire world.
Likewise, remember how Shoebat.com has emphasized that Trump’s visit to Modi in India was more than accidental, as India is arguably the largest economic and geopolitical challenge China will have to face off against other than her historical adversary of Japan. With the number of factories and manufacturing operations that have silently been transferring to India, she is likely going to become for the 2020s and beyond what China was from the 1970s until now.
The world is about to go through another major turning. We are seeing this happen right now.
Pork prices are not the reason for this. It is that pork prices here are a tangible manifestation of greater changes happening right now that one should only ignore at one’s own peril.