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HAY MAKER

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PROCESSING PRESSURE

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U.S. beef companies say the ban on Canadian cattle is hurting them financially.
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Beef ranchers and processors in the northwestern United States say that the ongoing ban on the importation of Canadian cattle is hurting them financially. The ban is forcing companies such as Tyson and Cargill Meat Solutions to reduce their processing operations in the region. The production cutbacks are largely due to tight U.S. cattle supplies.

Canadian beef is still finding its way into U.S. meat cases. Canadian boxed beef can be imported. The beef is from cattle younger than 30 months of age. Health experts believe that younger cattle are less infective than older cattle. Although Canadian boxed beef imports were down six percent last year from 2002, they were up 45 percent from 2003. Canadian beef imports in 2004 reached 659 million pounds.

Canadian boxed beef is a bargain for U.S. meat sellers, especially with the higher exchange rate for Canadian dollars. The major limitation is Canada’s beef processing capacity -- 4.4 million head per year, only 12 percent of the United States' capacity. However, Canada is pushing to increase its beef processing output with new and expanded plants. Last year, the Canadian government assistance provided assistance that resulted in a 22 percent increase in beef production capacity.

Tyson and Cargill – two of the largest U.S. beef processors -- are expanding their capacities north of the border. However, they would rather the ban be lifted, citing the broader importance of regaining access to Asian markets, which have been closed to U.S. and Canadian beef since 2003.

In the meantime, production at Tyson’s plant in Pasco, Washington is down 25 percent, to about 2,500 cattle per day. The plant is operating 32 hours a week instead of the normal 45. Cargill said it was making more production cuts at its seven U.S. beef plants due to the tight supply. Lenders are contacting smaller plants asking if they can expect loan payments.


Web posted: March 7, 2005
Category: Food Safety,Legislation and Regulation,Marketing,Processor News,Trade
Domenick Castaldo, Ph.D.


I hope all these new expansion projects have money in them for state of the art "LABELING"because 09/05 is coming pretty fast .............good luck
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Canadian boxed beef is a bargain for U.S. meat sellers, especially with the higher exchange rate for Canadian dollars. The major limitation is Canada’s beef processing capacity -- 4.4 million head per year, only 12 percent of the United States' capacity. However, Canada is pushing to increase its beef processing output with new and expanded plants. Last year, the Canadian government assistance provided assistance that resulted in a 22 percent increase in beef production capacity.


It would have been a better bargin if our dallar hadn't increased in value by 31% in the last 2 years. And I would like to know what the government assistance to the processing industry was?
 

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