Animal Protein Reports

Reports from CoBank Knowledge Exchange focusing on the animal protein industry.

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Higher-Priced Turkeys on the Holiday Menu
November 2022

After grappling with staff shortages, plant closures, and supply issues, the turkey industry has been hit by yet another problem in 2022: the worst Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in U.S. history.

The HPAI Stakes are Higher This Time
September 2022

Seven years after the last outbreak, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza emerged again in 2022 in U.S. commercial poultry flocks. More than 40 million birds have been depopulated, disrupting supplies of eggs and turkey in particular.

Rising Deli Meat Prices Pressure Back-to-School Budgets
August 2022

Now that the universal federal free lunch program of the pandemic era has ended, more parents may be packing their kids’ back-to-school lunches — and facing sticker shock in the deli aisle.

Consumers to Take on Higher Prices in the Meat Case This Summer
April 2022

In 2021 the market for proteins witnessed a new type of consumer, one who is less sensitive to higher retail meat prices and more interested in

Pandemic, Higher Costs and Avian Flu Put Easter Egg Supplies at Risk
March 2022

U.S. egg producers have been hard-pressed in the past two years to align supplies with market demand. The flock typically expands ahead of demand for Easter and contracts during the summer months when interest wanes.

U.S. Animal Protein Needs Trade Negotiators Back at the Table
November 2021

For more than a decade, free trade has become decidedly less popular in the U.S. Unfortunately for U.S. meat exporters, the rest of the world continues to make headway on trade agreements that threaten to put U.S. producers at a disadvantage in global markets.

Dollar Divergence: US Dollar Index Does Not Reflect True Dollar Impact on US Ag Exports
February 2021

The U.S. Dollar Index saw rapid deflation in 2020 and has coincided with a rally in commodity prices. 

The Great Grocery Grab of 2020 and the Ongoing Impact to U.S. Animal Protein
January 2021

2020 was the most volatile and, for many, the most challenging year in U.S. animal protein history.

Surging Feed Prices to Test US Animal Protein’s Recovery
December 2020

Feed costs have been relatively benign since 2012, helping the beef, pork and poultry sectors to expand more from 2014 to 2019 than in any five year period in the industry’s history. But in the coming year, U.S. livestock and poultry producers will face more feed cost inflation than they have in over a decade, challenging their ability to recover after a difficult and volatile 2020.

US Pork Export Outlook: How to Save Our Own Bacon as China Rebuilds
November 2020

The U.S. pork industry has built multiple new plants over the past four years, increasing U.S. packing capacity by 12% with much of this new capacity eyed for international markets. 

Closed Meat Plants Today Mean Empty Meat Cases this Summer
May 2020

The spread of COVID-19 among people who work in many beef and pork plants across the country has led to plant slowdowns and shut downs, creating a bottleneck in the U.S. meat and livestock supply chain. 

Walmart’s New Beef Plant is More Sizzle than Steak, For Now
February 2020

In January, Walmart officially entered the beef business when it opened a case-ready beef plant in Thomasville, Georgia. 

Evolving U.S. Demographics Give Chicken a New Leg to Stand On
October 2019

Evolving U.S. demographics are shifting consumer preferences from white chicken meat to dark meat.

US Poultry Outlook: This Time Things Are Different
June 2019

The US chicken industry has experienced an unprecedented run of historic profitability since 2012 and responded with a significant increase in production and processing capacity.

African Swine Fever Implications for US Ag
May 2019

Last August when the first cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) were announced in Northeast China, it was immediately clear that the global pork sector would be affected.

Protein Passport: Export Market Volatility is Worth the Risk
January 2019

U.S. animal protein supplies have reached all-time highs in both production and domestic consumption. 

African Swine Fever: Animal Disease and Trade Disputes Converge on the Global Stage
October 2018

African Swine Fever (ASF) is spreading throughout China, the world’s leading producer and consumer of pork. The swine disease — which is feared by every major pork producing and exporting country — has been detected in ten China provinces in the last two and a half months. 

Redefining Farm-to-Fork: Costco Sets New Protein Precedent
September 2018

Costco sells more than 90 million rotisserie chickens each year, so the announcement that plans to build a poultry processing complex in eastern Nebraska raised numerous questions about how the nation's third largest retailer will orchestrate the construction and operation of a $400 million poultry complex.

US Beef Exports Are Growing, But So Are Trade Risks
January 2018

Beef production in the U.S. is on the rise, and export outlets have never been more important. U.S. beef exports in 2017 exceeded industry expectations and the momentum is expected to continue through 2018 with exports forecast to increase 4-6 percent. However, market access with key partners is creating a heightened level of uncertainty.

Can the Cage-Free Commitments Be Met?
December 2017

U.S. egg production, pricing and producer profitability have been highly volatile over the last two years. The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in 2015 caused egg prices to surge, incentivizing egg producers to ramp up production and quickly replace the laying hens lost to HPAI.

Lab-grown Cultured Meat – A Long Road to Market Acceptance
November 2017

Alternative protein products derived from plant sources, insects and cultured meats are one of the top food trends to watch in 2018 and beyond. The effect on livestock and poultry protein demand in the U.S., however, is not expected to be significant.

US Packing Capacity Sufficient for Expanding Cattle Herd
September 2017

The U.S. beef cattle herd is still in the expansion phase of the current beef cattle cycle. This expansion will lead to steady growth in beef production through 2019. However, following the most aggressive 3 year start to any expansion on record, inventory growth appears to be decelerating.

New Processing Capacity Shakes Up the Hog Industry
June 2017

Strong balance sheets and rising global demand are incentivizing U.S. pork processors to expand capacity. When the five construction projects underway are complete, packing capacity will increase by 8-10 percent.

Global Pork Trade Profile & Outlook
February 2017

U.S. pork consumption is anticipated to grow in close tandem with the U.S. population.