GFM Network News


(Dave Bedard photo)

U.S. pork processors face higher costs, slower speeds after court ruling

Chicago | Reuters — An industry group representing America’s biggest meatpackers on Thursday pushed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to appeal a federal court decision that canceled an agency rule that allows pork plants to slaughter pigs more quickly. The decision issued Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota could raise costs for meatpackers like […] Read more

CME February 2021 lean hogs with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

U.S. livestock: Lean hogs trim as packers work through holiday backlogs

CME cattle futures pressured lower

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures fell on Wednesday as packers work through backlogs caused by holiday shutdowns, analysts said. Daily hog slaughter regained from holiday pace, with 495,000 head processed compared to 472,000 head the week prior, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, but was still short of prior year pace. […] Read more


An image created by Nexu Science Communication, together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus, the type of virus linked to COVID-19. (Nexu Science Communication via Reuters)

U.S. pork packer Smithfield offers ultra-cold vaccine storage

COVID-19 vaccines need storage at -20 C, -70 C

Chicago | Reuters — Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, said on Thursday it had offered to help U.S. health officials distribute COVID-19 vaccines and store them in ultra-cold freezers that are in high demand to support a public vaccination campaign. U.S. states, cities and hospitals are scrambling to buy freezers that can safely […] Read more

CME October 2020 live cattle with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

U.S. livestock: Live cattle pull back on demand uncertainty

CME lean hogs strengthen

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle futures closed lower on Tuesday for a second consecutive session after key contracts reached more-than-four-month highs last week as processors continued to cut into a surplus of market-ready cattle, traders said. Concerns about a piecemeal economic reopening as coronavirus cases flare up across the United States have traders […] Read more



(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Klassen: Feeder cattle market searching for direction

Feedlots expecting barley prices to drop

Western Canadian feeder cattle prices continue to trade in a sideways pattern. Compared to last week, prices were quoted $2-$3 on either side of unchanged. Most auction barns were on holidays last week and arenas that did hold sales experienced limited volumes. Therefore, the market was hard to define. U.S. feeder cattle markets were steady […] Read more


File photo of Smithfield Foods’ pork plant at Sioux Falls, S.D. on April 16, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

U.S. meatpacking workers often absent after plants ordered to reopen

"There's still so many risks"

Chicago/Washington | Reuters — Smithfield Foods is missing about a third of its employees at a South Dakota pork plant because they are quarantined or afraid to return to work after a severe coronavirus outbreak, according to the workers’ union. Tyson Foods was forced to briefly close its Storm Lake, Iowa plant — a month […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Trump asks U.S. Justice Department to look into meat price disparities

Washington | Reuters — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had urged the Justice Department to look into allegations that the meatpacking industry broke antitrust law because the price that slaughterhouses pay farmers for animals had dropped even as meat prices rose. “I’ve asked the Justice Department to look into it. … I’ve […] Read more


(Lovelyshot/iStock/Getty Images)

U.S. senators scrutinize meat packers’ profits during pandemic

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. senators are calling for investigations of record profit margins for beef processors such as Tyson Foods and Cargill, after ranchers complained surging meat prices due to coronavirus hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices. Futures prices for cattle have tumbled during the outbreak, worrying farmers as the U.S. economy […] Read more

CME May 2020 feeder cattle with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

U.S. livestock: Cattle limit up on beef demand, strong packer margins

Cash hog prices up, pork cutout down

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle futures settled up their expanded daily limit on Tuesday as traders continued to react to soaring profit margins for beef packers that should lift prices in the cash cattle market this week. Retail demand for meat has surged as fears of the COVID-19 coronavirus prompt consumers to stock […] Read more