In this file:


·         Beef faces plethora of pork in the marketplace

·         Pork Offers Advantages to Consumers Comparing Protein Choices



Beef faces plethora of pork in the marketplace

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay


By Steve Kay, Contributor, Canadian Cattlemen

November 26, 2019


Kay is publisher and editor of Cattle Buyers Weekly.


Pork, pork and more pork. That’s what the U.S. beef market faces as it moves into the middle of the last quarter of 2019. American pork processors are harvesting live hogs at a record rate and putting more pork onto the market than ever before. Only strong pork exports (accounting for 27 per cent of production) are preventing pork from overwhelming the domestic market.


The price correlation between beef and pork is often nebulous. In general, pork only provides competition for beef in the meat case when it is extremely cheap. Americans who want the taste of red meat buy beef whatever a pork chop costs. Ironically, the U.S. pork industry 20 years ago rebranded pork as “the other white meat.” This turned out to be a deeply flawed promotion and pork eventually reclaimed its place as a red meat.


October was National Pork Month in the U.S., thus designated each year because it coincides with the largest pork production period of the year. This meant increased retail featuring of the other red meat. Retailers continued to feature beef but it faced challenges in terms of ads and much lower pork prices. This will continue into November, as pork production shows no signs of slowing its seasonal surge.


The increase in weekly hog slaughter, although expected, has been staggering the past few months. Weekly slaughter totals barely exceeded 2.5 million head until recently. Yet they topped 2.6 million head in the week ending September 14 and nearly hit 2.7 million head in the second week of October. Daily kills are now close to 490,000 head. The reason for the increase is that a lot of new pork processing capacity went online in the past year and hog producers expanded their herds in anticipation.


The larger kills mean pork production some weeks has been up seven per cent on last year. Year-to-date slaughter to October 12 was 3.7 per cent higher than last year while total cattle slaughter was up only 1.0 per cent. Year-to-date beef production is barely higher than last year because of lighter carcass weights so far this year. Ironically, though, retail pork prices in September were up slightly on last year while the retail beef prices were barely up at all. But this likely changed in October with more retail pork features.


As mentioned, U.S. pork exports continue to post strong results even though U.S. pork still faces huge tariffs in China. August exports increased 22 per cent from a year ago while export value climbed 19 per cent. These results pushed January-August export volume four per cent ahead of last year’s pace at 1.7 million metric tons, while value increased one per cent to US$4.35 billion. Emerging markets were strong for U.S. pork, even as exports rebounded to China and Mexico, says the U.S. Meat Export Federation...





Pork Offers Advantages to Consumers Comparing Protein Choices


Dr. Sylvain Charlebois - Dalhousie University

Farmscape for November 27, 2019


The Scientific Director with Dalhousie University suggests, as the competition among the various proteins heats up, pork will retain the advantage of being natural, unprocessed and affordable.


"Fake Meat Madness and Pork's Resilience" was among the topics discussed in Saskatoon as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2019.


Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, the Scientific Director with Dalhousie University, says for decades pork, beef and chicken dominated the protein markets but now, for a variety of resasons, whether it's sustainability, animal welfare or even health, the market is changing.


Clip-Dr. Sylvain Charlebois-Dalhousie University:


I would say that the younger generations are driving the agenda a little bit when it comes to motives, the planet, animal welfare and things like that.


The boomers are mostly interested in the health aspect of things so they'll actually shop around for different sources of protein just because they think it's healthier.


I do see pork having a bright future just because it is a natural product, unprocessed and a lot of Canadians are still looking for that kind of product.


For the pork indiustry I think it's a great opporunity because you're going to be engaging a different public, a public that is in transition.


The consumer of tomorrow will actually be eating out a lot more often.


How do you position your product in a way that you can serve a consumer that is on the go, eating alone, eating four or five times a day, snacking?


There are different opportunities and pork has the advantage of being affordable and could be included in many portable and affordable solutions because price is always key.