Friday, September 28, 2012

US poultry certified wholesome up slightly in August

    U.S. poultry certified wholesome during August (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.91 billion pounds, up slightly from the amount certified in August 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    The July revised certified total came in at 3.68 billion pounds, up 4 percent from July 2011. The July revision represented an increase of 908,000 pounds from June's preliminary pounds certified.
    The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during August was 5.18 billion pounds, up slightly from 5.16 billion pounds in 2011. Young chickens inspected totaled 4.42 billion pounds, down slightly from August 2011 numbers, while mature chickens, at 80.7 million pounds, were up 2 percent from 2011. Turkey inspections totaled 662 million pounds, up 5 percent, and ducks totaled 14.3 million pounds, down 1 percent from 2011 numbers.
    Young chickens slaughtered during August averaged 5.81 pounds per bird, up 1 percent from August 2011. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.88 pounds per bird, up slightly from 2011. Turkeys slaughtered averaged 28.9 pounds per bird, up 1 percent, according to the USDA.
    For more poultry information and statistics, see

Argentina corn-planting area to drop 10 percent

    Argentina's total corn-planting area is forecast to drop 10 percent in the 2012–2013 season, to just over 4 million hectares, according to the Rosario Grain Exchange. The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange has forecast it even lower, at 3.4 million hectares, down 12 percent.
    In many areas yields could set new records, but some of the lower fields may be too wet, said the Rosario Exchange. High global corn prices due to the U.S. drought have made the crop an attractive one to Argentina farmers, and the country is already the world's number two corn exporter behind the U.S.

Russia suspends import of genetically modified corn on safety concerns

    Russia has suspended the import of Monsanto Co.'s genetically modified NK 603 corn after a French study raised concerns that the product might have adverse long-term effects on rats, according to reports.
    The suspension was requested by consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, which asked scientists at Russia's Institute of Nutrition to review the study. However, the safety of NK 603 is "well established," said spokesman Tom Helscher. “Russia is a net exporter of grain so the actual impact of their temporary suspension, if any, is likely to be small,” he said. Russia has also asked the European Commission to comment on the situation, and France has asked its national food-security agency to examine the study.

India soybean-meal exports may grow 5 percent in 2013

    India's soybean-meal exports could grow up to 5 percent in the 2013 harvest year beginning October 1, exceeding 4 million metric tons compared to 2012's 3.8 million metric tons, according to Atul Chaturvedi, CEO of exporter Adani Wilmar Ltd.
    Soybean-meal prices have increased 55 percent in 2012 and reached a record on concern that the worst U.S. drought in at least 50 years will shrink soybean and corn supplies from the world’s largest exporter. But soybean meal futures have fallen 10 percent since reaching an all-time high of $541.80 per 2,000 pounds on the Chicago Board of Trade on September 4. The December-delivery contract was at $486.70 at 3 p.m. in Mumbai on September 21. Soybeans rose to a record $17.89 a bushel also on September 4, as U.S. farmers will harvest the smallest crop in nine years.
    India competes with the U.S., Argentina and Brazil to supply animal feed to China, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea. The country usually exports more than 70 percent of its soybean-meal output. Traders have contracted to sell as much as 300,000 tons at prices ranging from $620 per ton to $640 per ton free-on-board to buyers in South East Asia and Africa for shipment in November and December, said Rajesh Agrawal, spokesman for the Soybean Processors Association.

Japan more than doubles wheat import estimate for 2012

    Japan has increased its wheat import estimate to 1.21 million metric tons for the 2012 financial year, up 58 percent from March predictions, according to reports. The demand has been attributed to a tightening in corn supplies and an increase in prices due to the worst U.S. drought in decades, which caused Japan's use of corn in animal feed to fall in July for the seventh straight month to hit a 20-year low.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated the 2012 corn harvest at 10.727 billion bushels, the smallest crop in six years, with the lowest yield in 17 years at 122.8 bushels per acre. Japan's revised import target for feed wheat is almost triple the figure of 427,000 metric tons in the 2011 financial year, according to a farm ministry official. The ratio of wheat in Japan's feed production in July rose to 4.1 percent, the highest in at least in two decades, from 1.2 percent during the same time in 2011. Feed wheat imports from January to July in 2012 have already reached 490,000 metric tons, mostly from Australia and the U.S., with Canada and Russia providing small volumes.
    In the past, wheat has been cheaper than corn, but now the reverse is true, with Australian feed wheat quoted around $380 per metric ton, including cost and freight, and Indian wheat at $355 per metric ton. This compares with corn being traded into South Korea at $307 per metric ton. On September 21, Chicago Board of Trade new-crop December corn was quoted at $7.51 per bushel, compared with December wheat at $8.93-1/4 per bushel.

Peru to begin exporting animal feed to Arab market

    There is a high demand for animal feed, agricultural and fishery products in Arab countries, and the Third Summit of South American-Arab Countries will allow Peru to export animal feed to that market, according to Humberto Speziani, president of the private industry and business confederation (Confiep).
    The two-day event, which will take place October 1–2, is also an opportunity to attract Arab investments in agribusiness. "We believe there could be a considerable increase in shipments to these markets and so we must reach directly to them," said Speziani. "We could start opening a sales office in Dubai or any nearby country." Peru hopes to present itself as an international investment destination.
    "This is a very important summit in Peru, because [the Arab world] is a very powerful economic bloc," said Juan Varilias, vice president of the Peruvian Exporters Association. "About US$40 billion of investment is expected to be ploughed into the economy."

US poultry producers call for unrestricted access to Canada market

    U.S. poultry producers are calling for unrestricted access to Canada's poultry market, and are using current trade talks to try to get rid of tariffs and remove all border restrictions on poultry imports from the U.S.
    "All we're asking is that we have an open and free fair trade shot at the border," said Bill Roenigk, senior vice president of the National Chicken Council. Canada has recently joined negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. "The U.S. poultry industry strongly opposes Canada's participation in the TPP unless Canada expressly commits to removing all border restrictions on poultry imports from the United States," said Roenigk.
    Canada has said it will maintain supply-management measures for poultry and egg farmers, which include matching production to domestic demand and levying high tariffs to discourage imports. However, it has also said all goods are subject to negotiation.
    Canada and Mexico are the most recent to join agreement negotiations that have been going on for 30 months and already include the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

EU states report decline in pig herds

    New data shows the European Union pig herd is declining at a significant rate, and that the trend is being mirrored around the world, according to Britain’s National Pig Association.
    All the main European pig-producing countries are experiencing shrinking sow herds, with falling numbers in the 12 months to June 2012 reported by Denmark (-2.3), Germany (-1.3), Ireland (-6.6), Spain (-2.8), France (-3.2), Italy (-13), Hungary (-5), the Netherlands (-3.6), Austria (-2.8), Poland (-9.6) and Sweden (-7.2). “Pig farmers have been plunged into loss by high pig feed costs, caused by the global failure of maize and soya harvests, and British supermarkets know they have to raise the price they pay Britain’s pig farmers or risk empty spaces on their shelves next year,” said association chairman Richard Longthorp.
    British Pig Executive director Mick Sloyan said at a recent summit in Brussels, Belgium, that a fall of only two percent in slaughterings in 2013 could lead to prices rising by 10 percent.

China broiler production, consumption forecast up three percent in 2013

    China’s broiler production in 2013 is forecast at 14.1 million metric tons, a three percent increase from the revised 2012 estimate (13.7 million metric tons), because of continued demand for cheaper meat protein, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service's latest report. The pace of growth for broiler production seems to be slowing due to higher feed prices.
    With tight corn supplies in the U.S. (the lead supplier to China) and recent outbreaks of armyworms in China’s key corn-producing areas in North and Northeast China, prices for domestic and foreign corn supplies are expected to be considerably higher in 2012 and 2013, according to the report. Corn accounts for 65–70 percent of China’s broiler feed; but with higher corn prices, many feed plants in China are changing feed ingredients such as substituting wheat for corn. Despite the possibility of higher wheat demand and prices, China’s available wheat stocks are cheaper than domestic corn prices and may help relax feed cost burdens. Changing ingredients may slightly impact slaughter weight, but the growth for broiler production in 2013 is expected to be higher than other meat production. China’s broiler industry is deemed to be more standardized and industrialized than other meat industries.
    China’s consumption in 2013 is forecast to increase by three percent above the revised 2012 figure (13.54 million metric tons) to 13.95 million metric tons because of strong demand for cheaper meat protein, according to the report. Chinese consumers began to purchase more broiler meats than red meats in July and August when prices for broiler meats were $2,657 per ton compared to the average pork price of $3,616 per ton. The significant price difference prompted low-income consumers to shift to cheaper broiler meats. Overall, consumers are becoming more price-sensitive as China’s Gross Domestic Product growth dropped from 9.2 percent in 2011 to 7.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012.

    Imports and Exports
    Despite rising domestic production in 2013, domestic demand for cheaper imported broiler meat will support a four percent increase over the revised estimate of 250,000 metric tons in imports, said the report. The Foreign Agricultural Service revised its 2012 import estimate upward by 7,000 metric tons to 240,000 metric tons based on larger-than-expected shipments from the U.S. When China implemented its anti-dumping and countervailing measures against U.S. broilers in 2010, export unit prices from South American countries climbed sharply in 2011; for instance, Brazil by 24 percent, Argentina nine percent and Chile 31 percent. With higher prices offered by South American countries, some U.S. prices are competitive, and some Chinese traders are willing to pay the anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs to bring in higher-quality U.S. broiler meats.
    Broiler exports in 2013 are forecast to remain flat at 400,000 metric tons. China’s exports to Japan, its largest export market, are expected to continue upward at a pace of five percent in both 2012 and 2013. Yet, increased exports to Japan will be offset by reduced exports to Hong Kong, China’s second-largest export market, mainly attributed to Brazilian competitive export prices of Brazilian product to Hong Kong. Moreover, China’s exports to Malaysia, a traditional export market, will be strongly challenged by less-expensive export prices from Thailand to Malaysia.

Global feed additives market worth $19.5 billion by 2017

    The global animal feed additives market in terms of revenue was estimated to be worth around $15.6 billion in 2011, and is expected to reach $19.5 billion by 2017, according to the latest Markets and Markets report.
    Growing at the compound annual growth rate of 3.8 percent from 2012 to 2017, leading manufacturers are focused on expansion of the business across regions and setting up new plants for increasing production capacity as well as product lines. Major industry participants are involved in mergers and acquisitions to penetrate the untapped markets of Asia and Latin America, said the report.
    The demand driving factors of the global animal feed additives market are industrialization in meat production, increasing global demand for protein-rich meat products, increase in rate of global meat consumption, increased awareness towards meat quality and safety, and outbreaks of livestock diseases. Major restraints of the industry are raising raw material cost and regulatory structure. However, said the report, the increasing cost of natural feed products is creating opportunities for the animal feed additives. Environmental concerns and regulatory ban over some harmful additives are other opportunities for animal feed additives. The manufacturers are developing innovative production techniques to manufacture the product at lower cost and increase production capacity.

USDA changes release time of key statistical reports in 2013

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that the National Agricultural Statistics Service and World Agricultural Outlook Board will begin issuing several major USDA statistical reports at 12:00 p.m. EDT beginning in January 2013.
    The current USDA release time of 8:30 a.m. EDT will remain in effect until January 1, 2013. USDA statistical reports affected are: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Acreage, Crop Production, Grain Stocks, Prospective Plantings, and Small Grains Summary. The time for livestock reports currently released at 3:00 p.m. will not change.
    The National Grain and Feed Association has commended the change. During the open comment period, the association said the USDA should shift the release of each report to a time of day when the greatest trading volume and deepest market liquidity exist. Now, the association said it continues to discuss with the commodity exchanges its previous proposal to also institute a “pause” in electronic and open-outcry trading surrounding the release times of these key USDA statistical reports to provide equal access to the data to all market participants and to allow time for the market to rationally analyze the information once it is issued.

US scientists express concern over French GM corn study

    A study by French researchers claiming ill effects on laboratory rats fed genetically modified corn and given water spiked with herbicide has been rejected by American scientists who have questioned the motives and methods of the authors.
    The study was led by Gilles-Eric Seralini, whose book calling biotechnology into question has recently been re-issued. The study said that rats fed a steady diet of feed made from biotech corn developed tumors. In addition, the drinking water of the rats was continuously spiked with glyphosate, the active ingredient in many broad spectrum herbicide products. Glyphosate has a history of safe use in more than 130 countries around the world and favorable environmental characteristics. It binds tightly to most soils making it unlikely to move to groundwater and degrades over time in soil and natural waters, said the scientists.
    The scientists also said that numerous studies attest to the fact that the particular stock of rats used in the study are prone to develop tumors before the age of two. The Seralini study ran for about two years. Seralini called the study the first long-term feeding study ever conducted, but according to Dr. Martina Newell-McGloughlin, director of the international biotechnology program at the University of California/Davis, the results of numerous long-term studies have been published with none of the results claimed by Seralini.
    “The bottom line is, despite numerous studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and substantial experience with humans and animals around the world consuming biotech crops for over 15 years, there has not been a single substantiated case of negative outcomes or a single documented health problem,” said Newell-McGloughlin.

USDA expands drought assistance to 22 states

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that $11.8 million in additional financial and technical assistance will be provided to help crop and livestock producers in 22 states apply conservation practices that will reduce the impacts of the U.S. drought and improve soil health and productivity.
    “As this drought continues to impact American farming and ranching families, the [U.S. Department of Agriculture will be there to help our agriculture sector recover,” said Vilsack. “This additional assistance builds on a number of steps the USDA and other federal agencies have taken over the past few months to provide resources and flexibility in our existing programs to help producers endure these hardships.”
    Exceptional drought continues to dominate sections of Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, causing widespread losses of crops and pastures and water shortages in reservoirs, streams and wells. Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah are under extreme drought, with accompanying major losses of crops and pasture, widespread water shortages and restrictions on water use, according to the USDA.

USPOULTRY, foundation approve $290,762 in research grants

    The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the USPOULTRY Foundation have approved a total of $290,762 for eight new research grants at six institutions.
    The research funding was approved by the boards of directors of both organizations, based on recommendations from the Foundation Research Advisory Committee. The committee evaluates research proposals to determine their value to the industry, and then makes recommendations to the boards for funding. Committee members are professional specialists from different segments of the poultry and egg industry who represent a variety of disciplines. The latest research grants from each institution include:
    • Development of Campylobacter jejuni Proteins as In Ovo Vaccines for Broiler Chickens — U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
    • Pilot Study – Colostomy and Urine Collection Protocol for Investigating Potential Inciting Causes of Hen Diuresis Syndrome — Mississippi State University
    • Role of Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS) in Necrotic Enteritis Development — Auburn University
    • Frequent Application of Litter Amendments in Broiler Houses — University of Delaware
    • Understanding Arkansas IBV Vaccination Failures — University of Georgia
    • Factors Affecting Air Velocity and Heat Removal in Tunnel-Ventilated Broiler Houses — University of Georgia
    • Ultrasonics and Its Synergy for Poultry Water Disinfection — Georgia Tech Research Institute
    • Pathotyping of Current Marek's Disease Virus Field Strains and Identification of Sequence Variants to Predict Virulence — U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oman lifts India poultry import ban

    Oman's ministry of agriculture and fisheries has lifted an import ban on poultry from India put in place due to bird flu concerns, according to reports.
    In March, the World Organisation for Animal Health confirmed reports of the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the districts of Odisha, Tripura and Meghalaya, India. India's veterinary authorities have since determined that there is no longer any risk from poultry imports. The ban's lift comes at an opportune time, according to traders. "Stocks will be readily available as demand in the Indian market is down these days because of Hindu festivals," said Prashant Desai, commercial manager of Al Hamadi Trading & Contracting. "Within ten days we hope to have Indian poultry products in the Omani market."

US chicken paw, feet exports up through July 2012

    The U.S. shipped 213,218 metric tons of paws and feet from January through July, 6 percent higher than the 200,524 metric tons exported during the same time in 2011, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service.
    Comparatively, U.S. paw and feet exports from January through July are 27 percent higher than 2010 (167,833 metric tons) and 23 percent lower than 2009 (278,002 metric tons). Total U.S. exports of paws and feet have been on the decline since 2008, according to the USDA.
    In the second quarter of 2012 alone, exports totaled 83,939 metric tons, 17 percent lower than the first quarter (101,544 metric tons) and 4 percent lower than the second quarter of 2011 (87,283 metric tons). Total exports in the second quarter of 2012 are 8 percent higher than 2010 (77,864 metric tons) and 35 percent lower than 2009 (129,399 metric tons).
    In just July, the U.S. exported a total of 27,734 metric tons of paws and feet, 26 percent higher than June and 21 percent lower than July 2011. In comparison, July 2012 exports are 12 percent higher than July 2010's 24,826 metric tons and 49 percent lower than July 2009's 53,964 metric tons.
    The top two leading markets for U.S. paw and feet exports have been China and Hong Kong despite ongoing trade disputes, according to the USDA. Combined China and Hong Kong account for nearly 98 percent for total U.S. paw and feet exports. Together, China and Hong Kong imported 208,322 metric tons from January through July, 6 percent higher than 2011 (196,245 metric tons), 34 percent higher than 2010 (155,016 metric tons) and 23 percent lower than 2009 (272,173 metric tons).

US egg production up slightly in August

    U.S. egg production totaled 7.8 billion during August, up 1 percent from 2011 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    Production included 6.76 billion table eggs, and 1.04 billion hatching eggs, of which 971 million were broiler-type and 69 million were egg-type. The total number of layers during August averaged 335 million, up slightly from 2011. August egg production per 100 layers was 2,324 eggs, up 1 percent from August 2011. All layers in the U.S. on September 1 totaled 336 million, up slightly from 2011, according to the USDA. The 336 million layers consisted of 284 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 49.8 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs and 2.84 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs.
    Egg-type chicks hatched during August totaled 41.4 million, down slightly from August 2011. Eggs in incubators totaled 36.8 million on September 1, down 6 percent from 2011 numbers. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 234,000, down 26 percent from August 2011.
    Broiler-type chicks hatched in August totaled 758 million, also down slightly from August 2011. Eggs in incubators totaled 596 million on September 1, down 1 percent from 2011 numbers, according to the USDA. Leading breeders placed 7.05 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during August 2012, down 3 percent from August 2011.

USPOULTRY Foundation allocates $160,000 in student recruiting grants

    The USPOULTRY Foundation has approved student recruiting grants totaling approximately $160,000 to the six U.S. universities with poultry science departments and 15 other institutions with industry related programs.
    The foundation provides annual recruiting funds to colleges and universities to attract students to their poultry programs. The six poultry science departments receiving the grants are:
    • Texas A&M — $24,910
    • North Carolina State — $18,279
    • University of Arkansas — $15,491
    • Auburn University — $13,632
    • Mississippi State — $14,477
    • University of Georgia — $13,210
    “It is vital that we continue to draw sharp young people to study for careers in the poultry industry,” said USPOULTRY Foundation Chairman Gary Cooper. “USPOULTRY Foundation recruiting grants play an important role in encouraging students to enroll in industry-related studies and in becoming future industry leaders of tomorrow." The 15 other institutions with industry-related programs receiving recruiting grants under the foundation’s Industry Education Funding Program are:
    • California State University - Fresno, California — $7,000
    • Clemson University, South Carolina — $2,500
    • Crowder College, Missouri — $2,500
    • Gainesville State College, Georgia — $2,000
    • Iowa State University, Iowa — $2,000
    • Jones Junior College, Mississippi — $2,400
    • Louisiana State University, Louisiana — $7,000
    • Modesto Junior College, California — $5,000
    • National Park Community College, Arkansas — $6,500
    • Penn State University, Pennsylvania — $7,000
    • Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas — $3,000
    • Tennessee Tech University, Tennessee — $2,500
    • University of Delaware, Delaware — $4,600
    • Wallace State Community College, Alabama — $2,000
    • West Virginia University, West Virginia — $4,000

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

International Production & Processing Expo offers a new name, much larger show

    The 2013 International Production & Processing Expo — the exciting new collaboration resulting from the co-location of the International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo, and the International Meat Expo — will bring together more than 1,000 exhibitors and an anticipated 25,000 attendees from over 100 countries to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from January 29-31, 2013.
    Hosted by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the American Feed Industry Association, and the American Meat Institute, the Expo will highlight the latest technology, equipment, and services used in the production and processing of poultry, meat and feed products, with opportunities for learning and conducting all aspects of business, from farm to fork. The entire tradeshow will cover close to 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space, making it one of the 50 largest tradeshows in the United States.
    The 2013 Expo will also mark the International Poultry Expo’s 65th year of continual exhibition services to the poultry industry.

    2013 Expo highlights
    Resuming for 2013 is the popular Members to Atlanta program, known as M2A, which waives the registration fee for attendees from member firms of all three associations engaged in the production of poultry, eggs and meat for consumption, and feed and pet food manufacturers. The program is supported through the sponsorship of elite Expo exhibitors. They include Agranco Corp. USA, Alaso, Alltech, Aviagen, Ceva, Cobb-Vantress, Diamond V, Dupont, ISI-Incubator Supply, Jamesway, Jefo, Marel Stork Poultry Processing, Kemin, Mosaic, Myuang, and Pfizer Poultry Health.
    International Production & Processing Expo show organizers will be hosting a special reception Tuesday, January 29, from 4-6 p.m. on the respective floors of the show. There will be non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, and musical entertainment and activities taking place during the reception.

    Educational programs
    The week of January 28, 2013, has been designated as “IPPE Week” and will feature dynamic education programs addressing current industry issues. The education program schedule includes the annual line-up of the International Poultry Scientific Forum, Pet Food Conference, Animal Agricultural Sustainability Summit, and American Feed Industry Association International Feed Education Program. Back by popular demand is the National Renderers Association’s International Rendering Symposium and the Poultry Market Intelligence Forum.
    New for 2013 are the following educational programs: Improving Food Safety, Sanitation and Maintenance; Animal Handling: Focus on Poultry Processing; Antibiotic Conference – Current Issues for the Poultry & Egg Industry; USPOULTRY/United Egg Producers Conference on the Future of the U.S. Egg Industry; Meat and Poultry Research Conference; Processed Meats Workshop; Consumer Trends – Best New Meat and Poultry Products; Operations: Risk Management and Lifecycle Analysis; and International Regulatory Topics for Meat.

    Registration now open
    Attendee and exhibitor pre-registration and hotel registration for the 2013 International Production & Processing Expo is open through January 11, 2013. Online is the only way to pre-register for the discounted price of USD $40. Visit the International Production & Processing Expo website,, for links to the International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo, and the International Meat Expo websites for more information about registration, hotel reservations, a video describing the upcoming International Production & Processing Expo experience, and a schedule of 2013 educational seminars offered during the Expo. 

South Australian research alliance, university to focus on poultry welfare

    The South Australian Research and Development Institute and the University of Adelaide have formed the Southern Star Poultry Alliance, which will focus on animal welfare research in chicken meat and egg production, according to reports.
    The alliance hopes to determine an appropriate hen stocking density for free-range egg production, said Professor Alan Tilbrook, livestock and farming systems research chief for the Institute. "What we'll be doing through the Southern Star Poultry Alliance is strategic, focused research that will be rigorous to try and get an outcome that will be acceptable right across the community," said Tilbrook.

US July broiler trade down, turkey and egg shipments up

Shipments of U.S. broilers in July totaled 602.9 million pounds, a 7 percent reduction over broiler meat shipped in July 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
The primary reason for the drop in shipments was weak demand in two major markets (Hong Kong and Cuba) and in at least two minor markets (Georgia and South Korea), said the USDA. Shipments to Hong Kong declined 78 percent, while shipments to Cuba, Georgia and South Korea decreased 52, 67 and 44 percent, respectively. Shipments to the two largest broiler markets, Mexico and Russia, rose in July: broiler meat shipped to Mexico increased 26 percent from 2011 numbers, and shipments to Russia increased 23 percent. However, these two increases were not enough to offset the decline in shipments to other markets.
Turkey shipments in July were up 25 percent from 2011, with over 65.6 million pounds of turkey meat shipped abroad. Turkey shipments have been up despite higher year-over-year whole hen turkey prices. The chief reason for this increase is strong foreign demand, according to the USDA. Over half (54 percent) of the turkey meat shipped internationally went to Mexico, the largest U.S. turkey market; turkey shipments to Mexico increased 17 percent from 2011 numbers. There were also significant increases in turkey shipments to the Philippines, mainland China and Taiwan. Turkey shipments to the Philippines and Taiwan rose 776 and 492 percent, respectively, from July 2011. China imported 51 percent more turkey meat in July 2012 than it did during the same month in 2011.
U.S. egg shipments in July totaled 23.6 million dozen, up 16 percent from 2011. Exports in July may have been supported by relatively low prices in the preceding months. The primary reason for the increase is relatively low egg prices, said the USDA report. In the second quarter, wholesale prices for one dozen grade A large eggs in the New York market averaged $1.07. The three largest U.S. egg markets are Hong Kong, Japan and Canada. Among these three markets, egg shipments to Hong Kong were the largest at 4.9 million dozen, a 19 percent increase from July 2011. Canada had the largest increase from 2011 numbers, at 36.7 percent. Japan imported 7.7 percent more eggs in July 2012 than the same time in 2011.
For more poultry and egg information and statistics, see

Global food prices set to rise through 2013

    Increasing agricultural commodity prices (due largely to unfavorable weather like the ongoing U.S. drought) are causing the world to re-enter a period of "agflation," with food prices forecast to reach record highs and continue to rise well into the third quarter of 2013, according to a recent Rabobank report. In addition, said Rabobank, unlike the staple grain shortage of 2008, 2012's scarcity will affect feed-intensive crops with serious repercussions for the animal protein and dairy industries.
    The report estimates that the Food and Agricultural Organization Food Price Index will rise by 15 percent by the end of June 2013. In order for demand rationing to take place, in turn encouraging a supply response, prices will need to stay high. Rabobank said it expects prices — particularly for grains and oilseeds — to remain at elevated levels for at least the next 12 months.
    “The impact on the poorest consumers should be reduced this time around, as purchasers are able to switch consumption from animal protein back towards staple grains like rice and wheat," said Luke Chandler, global head of agri commodity markets research at Rabobank. "These commodities are currently 30 percent cheaper than their 2008 peaks. Nonetheless, price rises are likely to stall the long-term trend towards higher protein diets in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. In developed economies — especially the U.S. and Europe — where meat and corn price elasticity is low, the knock-on effect of high grain prices will be felt for some time to come.”
    While the impact of higher food prices should be reduced by favorable macroeconomic fundamentals (low growth, lower oil prices, weak consumer confidence and a depreciated U.S. dollar), interventionist government policies could exacerbate the issue, said the report. Stockpiling and export bans are a distinct possibility in 2012–2013 as governments seek to protect domestic consumers from increasing food prices. Increased government intervention will likely encourage further increases in world commodity and food prices. Rabobank said it expects that localized efforts to increase stockpiles will prove counterproductive at the global level, with those countries least able to pay higher prices likely to see greater moves in domestic food price inflation. This is a vicious circle, with governments committing to domestic stockpiling and other interventionist measures earlier than usual — recognizing the risk of being left out as exportable stocks decline further.
    On top of that, global food stocks have not been replenished since 2008, leaving the market without any buffer to adverse growing conditions. Efforts by governments to rebuild stocks could add to food prices and take supplies off the market at a time when they are most needed.

Final rule published on synthetic methionine in organic poultry

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program has published a final rule that extends the allowance for synthetic methionine in organic poultry production at reduced levels.
    The National Organic Standards Board determined that while wholly natural substitute products exist, they are not presently available in sufficient supplies to meet poultry producer needs. Therefore, some allowance for synthetic methionine is necessary to comprise a nutritionally adequate diet for organic poultry. The allowance was previously set to expire on October 1, but the final rule has removed the date and allows poultry producers to continue to use limited amounts of synthetic methionine at the following maximum levels:
    • laying and broiler chickens — two pounds per ton of feed
    • turkeys and all other poultry — three pounds per ton of feed
    The rule will become effective on October 2.

Monday, September 24, 2012

US hog slaughter up in July, August

    U.S. hog slaughter in July was 5.7 percent above 2011, though 3.2 percent below the three-year average July sow slaughter and 8.4 percent below the five-year average, suggesting that producers might not be unloading their stock due to feed prices as quickly as analysts had predicted.
    Weekly sow slaughter for the weeks ending August 4 through September 1 shows slaughter to be less than 5 percent above comparable weeks in 2011. It is possible, however, that higher sow prices induced larger August slaughter numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. After moving lower through July, sow prices in August may have bottomed out and could be turning upward, averaging $41.78 per cwt. Higher sow prices in August suggest that pressure from large supplies of sows may have eased. If a large-scale liquidation was underway, it is unlikely that prices would have bottomed out as they did in August, said the USDA. Moderate summer sow slaughter suggests a scenario in which, despite record-high prices for corn and soybean meal, the current price environment will persist through only the 2012–2013 crop year.
    Fourth-quarter 2012 pork production is expected to be almost 6.3 billion pounds, 1.6 percent greater than in the same period in 2011. Estimated dressed weights in the fourth quarter will likely continue to run just slightly ahead of 2011 weights. In 2013, however, record-high feed costs are expected to gain traction, and pull dressed weights in the first three quarters below those of the same period of 2012, as producers push to minimize feed costs while avoiding packer discounts for low-weight animals, according to the USDA. Prices of live equivalent 51-52 percent lean hogs are expected to average $57–$59 per cwt. in the fourth quarter, more than 10 percent below 2011 numbers, and $60–$66 per cwt. in the first quarter of 2013.

US table egg flock up in July

    In July, the number of birds in the U.S. table egg flock was 281.1 million, up just under 1 percent from 2011 numbers, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
    The table egg flock has been larger year-over-year throughout 2012. With the increase in the table egg flock, table egg production has increased. Over the first seven months of 2012, table egg production has totaled 3.9 billion dozen, 1.1 percent higher than in 2011. Table egg production is expected to continue to be higher in the third quarter of 2012 but to fall in the fourth quarter, and production is also expected to be lower in 2013. The decrease, like that for broilers and turkeys, is expected to stem from a contraction in production arising from higher feed costs.
    The hatching flock for meat-type birds (broiler-breeder flock) was reported at 51.1 million in July, down 6 percent from 2011, according to the USDA. The number of meat-type hens in the broiler-hatchery flock has been significantly lower on a year-over-year basis since mid-2011. The lower number of hens reflects the decreases in broiler chick demand as broiler integrators cut back expansion plans due to high grain prices and relatively weak domestic demand.
    In July and August 2012, the weekly wholesale price for eggs in the New York market had a short-lived but sharp spike in prices. Prices at the beginning of July averaged around $1.05 per dozen and then rose to almost $1.60 per dozen, before falling back to around $1.16 per dozen by the beginning of September. Since the beginning of September, prices have begun to recover, said the USDA.
    With this run-up in egg prices, the third-quarter 2012 average for New York egg prices is now expected to be $1.26–$1.29 per dozen, up almost $0.12 from the third quarter of 2011. Prices in the fourth quarter of 2012 are forecast at $1.32–$1.38 per dozen. This strengthening in prices in the fourth quarter is expected to come from a slow growth in production in the face of the normal increase in seasonal demand.
    For more information and statistics on U.S. poultry and eggs, see

US food distributor sets gestation-stall deadline for pork suppliers

    U.S. food distributor Atlantic Premium Brands Ltd. has set a deadline for its pork suppliers to eliminate the use of gestation-sow stalls at 2017, according to reports.
    “Atlantic Premium takes animal welfare seriously, and wholeheartedly endorses the transition from gestation crates to group housing for pigs, which is the direction many of our pork suppliers are already moving,” said Thomas Dalton, president and CEO. Three of Atlantic Premium's clients, Kroger, Costco and Safeway, have all previously announced their own plans to give their suppliers a gestation-stall-free deadline.
    The Humane Society of the United States said they support Atlantic Premium's goal. “We welcome Atlantic Premium’s work to improve animal welfare in its supply chain, and are glad to see it joining the list of major food companies working with their pork suppliers to end the confinement of pigs in gestation crates,” said Matthew Prescott, Humane Society food policy director. “At a time when so many retailers are rising to the public’s demand for improved treatment of pigs, Atlantic Premium’s commitment is both ethical and a smart business move.”

Pig costs up, prices down as US drought impacts producers

    U.S. hog producers are seeing increased feed costs and decreased pork prices, a combination resulting in some farmers selling their stock at a loss.
    Corn on the futures market is at nearly $8 per bushel through summer 2013, roughly a 50-percent increase over prices before the drought that has hit the U.S. all season. At the same time, hog prices have dropped significantly, falling nearly 30 percent in the last six weeks due to an oversupply moving from farms to market. For the week ending September 14, pig producers lost an average of $36.15 per head, down roughly $7.00 from the week before when margins averaged a $29.00-per-head loss. One month prior to that pork producers were gaining $14.76 per head, and for the same period in 2011, producers were profiting by $11.77 per head.
    The oversupply is coming from farmers who are trying to manage their costs by decreasing the size of their herds. "That's probably caused some producers to sell hogs a little bit sooner than they otherwise would," said Ron Plain, an agricultural economics professor at the University of Missouri. "To try to get them off the feed bill and that's probably impacted a bit on why we've had so many hogs to slaughter here in the last few weeks." Feed costs for pigs placed into the finishing unit as of September 14 is estimated at $136.32, according to Sterling Marketing. At the same time in 2011, that cost was $112.58.
    In the short run, these lower prices might be good news for consumers, as wholesale prices have dropped 15 percent since mid-August, according to analysts. Lower prices should stimulate demand for pork, which may ultimately lead to better hog prices — but farmers say anything like that is still a long way off.

Radlo Foods chairman dies at 87

      Jason "Jack" Radlo, chairman of Radlo Foods LLC.
    Jason "Jack" Radlo, chairman of Radlo Foods LLC, has died at the age of 87.
    Radlo, the son of an egg marketer and distributor, began Radlo Brothers Inc., a broker and producer of eggs in the Northeast, and Radlo International, an export company, in the 1950s after a distinguished military career and service in World War II. In the 1960s and 1970s he established Radlo of Georgia, a producer of eggs, turkeys, and hogs, and later Radlo Southeastern, which brokered and exported eggs. In 1975 he started A.H.P., a producer of feed additives for the livestock industry, and later Cambridge Products, formed from a merger between A.H.P. and Naremco, to produce and sell feed additives.
    In 1985, Radlo formed Vicam with scientists from Harvard, M.I.T. and Boston University. In the 1990s he took a franchise with C.R. Eggs, later known as Egg-Land's Best, and eventually became a board member. He served as Radlo foods' chairman until shortly before his death.
    Radlo is survived by wife, Renie; children David, Marjorie and Sally and their spouses; grandchildren; siblings Ruth and Lucille; and many other family members. Services will be held in Lexington, Mass., on September 21.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Guangdong China detects H5N1 virus in ducks

    The H5N1 avian influenza virus has infected 14,050 ducks in the city of Zhanjiang in south China's Guangdong province, according to reports, leading to 6,300 deaths since September 11 directly due to the disease.
    Local authorities have since culled 67,500 birds in the area as a precaution against spreading the disease, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health. So far, no vaccinations or other treatments are planned, but the area has been quarantines and is being monitored.

US turkey production up 11 percent in July

    U.S. turkey meat production in July was 497 million pounds, up 11 percent from July 2011 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    The increase in July was due chiefly to a larger number of birds slaughtered, and part of the increase was the result of one more slaughter day in July 2012 than in July 2011, according to the USDA. Total meat production was also boosted by a slight increase in average bird weights to 29.3 pounds, up just under 1 percent from 2011. Over the first 7 months, 2012 turkey production has totaled 3.4 billion pounds, an increase of 4 percent from the same period in 2011. The increase in turkey production is due to a combination of a 3-percent gain in the number of birds slaughtered and a 1-percent gain in their average weight at slaughter.
    The production estimate for 2013 has been lowered by 30 million pounds to 5.8 billion pounds, down 3.2 percent from 2012. The reduction reflects the impact that higher feed prices are expected to have on poultry production and placements in the remainder of 2012. The higher feed costs, coupled with relatively weak economic conditions, are expected to cause turkey producers to lower production.
    Turkey meat production is expected to be higher on a year-over-year basis for both the third and fourth quarters of 2012. Coupled with higher stocks thus far in 2012, this is expected to cause cold storage holdings to be higher than in 2011 through the end of 2012. With lower turkey meat production forecast for 2013, cold storage holdings of turkey products in 2013 are expected to drop below year-earlier levels, according to the USDA.

Vietnam feed industry faces challenges from foreign competition

    Vietnam's animal feed industry has been growing in recent years, and with that has come foreign competition and challenges for domestic suppliers, according to chairman of the Vietnam National Animal Husbandry Association, Professor Nguyen Dang Vang.
    The country's feed industry has grown an average of 11.8 percent per year, said Dang Vang. In 2010, 10.6 million metric tons of feed were produced, and in 2011 the number rose to 11.5 million metric tons. In 2010, the industry grew by $4.6 billion, of which 64 percent came from foreign feed companies. The total market share held by foreign companies in 2010 was 40 percent.
    "This year — 2012 — the figure is likely to increase to 60 percent," said Dang Vang. "Currently, there are 57 foreign animal feed companies, of which 41 companies are wholly foreign-owned and 16 are joint ventures. The remaining share is divided among 170 Vietnamese companies. This is an indication of the weakness of Vietnamese companies in the industry — their production levels are small, so they are struggling to compete with their foreign rivals."
    Foreign companies create competition, but only if the domestic companies are able to keep up, said Dang Vang. "In order to compete, Vietnamese companies have to apply advanced technology in their production while improving their management skills," he said. "But if we fail to keep up with the rapid development of technology, profits will fall and some firms may even face bankruptcy." He said the government should do its part to financially support Vietnamese companies, as well as provide human resources while encouraging them to apply new technology to animal husbandry.

FDA approves request to mix aflatoxin-infected corn, animal feed

US corn, soybean harvests coming in sooner than anticipated

    U.S. corn and soybean crops are being harvested more quickly than anticipated, putting potential pressure on prices in the cash market as farmers sell more of their stock due to concerns over diseases such as aflatoxin that could hurt quality, according to analysts.
    The corn harvest was 26 percent complete as of September 16, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report, compared with an expected 24 percent based on a Reuters poll of 11 analysts, and up from a predicted 15 percent the week of September 9. Farmers harvested 10 percent of the soybean crop, compared with expectations for 9 percent and up from a predicted 4 percent. "These are extremely rapid harvest paces," said Karl Setzer, a commodity trading advisor with MaxYield Cooperative. "In all reality, the harvest could be over by the end of September or first week of October." The harvest, he said, is currently running roughly 30 days ahead of normal.
    According to the USDA report, the corn harvest in Illinois was 36 percent complete as of September 16, up from 21 percent on September 9. In Iowa, the harvest was 22 percent complete, up from 10 percent. For soybeans, the harvests in Iowa and Illinois were at 6 percent and 3 percent complete, respectively. The southern harvest stood with Louisiana at 52 percent and Mississippi at 58 percent.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bangladesh relaxes egg import rules in bid to lower prices

    Bangladesh's government has relaxed its rules for the import of chicken, duck and other poultry eggs, hatching eggs and day-old chicks, in an effort to control rising prices in the domestic market, according to the country's commerce ministry. Importers will no longer need to receive prior permission from the ministry to import such goods.
    Chicken egg prices have increased from Tk 32 (US$0.39) per four pieces in mid-August to Tk 42 (US$0.51) per four pieces on September 16. "All other previous conditions related to import of all kinds of eggs will remain in force," said Commerce Secretary Ghulam Hussain. "Businessmen will not be able to import eggs from any bird flu-prone country. The imported eggs will be checked strictly at the customs stations."
    Daily demand for eggs across Bangladesh is 20 million, and domestic production stands at 10 million per day, according to data from the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association.

US broiler production lowered for third, fourth quarters

    The U.S. broiler meat production estimate for the third quarter of 2012 was reduced by 50 million pounds to 9.3 billion pounds, down 2.5 percent from 2011 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    Broiler meat production in July was 3.13 billion pounds, 3 percent higher than in 2011. The number of birds slaughtered in July was up 3 percent, to 723 million, but average live weight was down slightly, to 5.76 pounds. During August and September, the number of chicks placed for growout is expected to remain at or near 2011 levels, while higher average weights are also expected to continue. However, there are 2 fewer slaughter days in September compared with 2011.
    The broiler meat production estimate for the fourth quarter of 2012 was lowered to 9 billion pounds, down 150 million pounds from the previous estimate. The reduction in fourth-quarter production stems chiefly from the impact of lower expected chick placements brought about by continued high grain prices, according to the USDA. Weekly heavy hen slaughter has been above year-earlier levels for much of August, and with pullets below 2011 in July, it is likely that broiler-type egg production will remain close to or below 2011 numbers. For the five-week period ending September 1, the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated that an average of 162 million broiler chicks was placed weekly for growout. This is almost exactly the same number of chicks placed weekly in a similar period in 2011.
    In 2011, between the middle of August and the middle of October, the number of chicks placed for growout was much lower than in 2010, which resulted in fourth-quarter 2011 broiler meat production being 7 percent lower than 2010 numbers. In 2012, it is expected that the number of chicks placed for growout will be very similar to 2011. Offsetting the stability in hatchery numbers will be one more slaughter day in the fourth quarter, according to the USDA. Average weights in the fourth quarter are expected to be only slightly higher than in 2011. The new production estimate for 2012 is 36.8 billion pounds, 1.2 percent lower than 2011 numbers.
    For more U.S. poultry information and statistics, see

University of Nevada studying desert plants for drought tolerance

    A team of researchers led by a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, hopes to study drought-resistant desert plants and apply that knowledge to redesigning biofuel crops.
    The group (John Cushman, a biochemistry professor at the University of Nevada, Reno; Xiaohan Yang at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); James Hartwell at the University of Liverpool, UK; and Anne Borland at Newcastle University, UK and ORNL) will develop technologies to redesign bioenergy crops to grow on economically marginal agricultural lands and produce yields of biomass that can readily be converted to biofuels. The development of water-use efficient, fast-growing trees such as poplar for such sites will also help reduce competition with food crops for usable farmland.
    The long-term goal of the proposed research is to enhance the plant’s water-use efficiency and adaptability to hotter, drier climates. “With climate change predictions for a 7-degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature and a decrease in reliable precipitation patterns by 2080 for much of America’s breadbasket, and with a greater need for sources of biofuels for transportation, these biodesign approaches to enhancing biomass production become very important,” said Cushman.
    The project will be funded by a $14.3 million U.S. Department of Energy grant.

Cargill grain elevator doubles storage capacity in Tennessee

    A Cargill AgHorizons grain elevator project in Hales Point, Tenn., will significantly increase storage capacity, improve grain-unloading speed, save critical time and reduce transportation expenses. The project, completed by KBD Group, will allow Cargill to double the amount of grain it can handle.
    The Cargill project includes one million bushels of working/storage space, new truck receiving systems, a new barge loading system and a new office building with the demolition of the existing access road and two existing buildings. Site work includes construction of new gravel access roads, sediment basins, stripping, grading and erosion control on an eight-acre site. Structural and mechanical work includes 3 grain bins, barge tower, receiving pits, boot pits, 2 truck dumps, reclaim tunnel, transfer conveyor and tower. Electrical work includes installation of new utility provided transformer, rework of existing primary service, new switchgear, installation of MCC’s, lighting, and all power and control wiring.
    The original elevator was built in 1964.

Heavy metal contamination in pork offal focus of Thailand event

    The theme of “sharing toxicological knowledge for healthy life and environment” was key at the 8th Congress of Toxicology in Developing Countries, held in Bangkok, Thailand, where attendees focused on the risks of heavy metal contamination in pork offal during a presentation given by Animine in association with Mahidol University (Thailand) and the French Institute for the Pig and Pork Industry.
    Heavy metals (mainly cadmium, lead and arsenic) in animal feeds can originate either from contaminated feedstuffs or from supplemental sources of additives, especially essential trace minerals like zinc and copper, according to Animine. When contaminated diets are fed to pigs, heavy metals accumulate preferentially in the storage organs. Recent analytical surveys showed that one-fourth of pig kidneys in Thailand were above the regulatory limit in cadmium concentration. The percentage of kidneys unsafe for human consumption could not be solely explained by potential Cd-polluted areas, but may originate from contaminated sources of trace mineral supplements.
    Recent analysis with batches of zinc oxide products utilized in pig diets showed very high levels of contaminants. Supplementation of piglet feeds with zinc oxide at pharmacological levels, about 25 times more than the nutritional requirements, is common to secure growth performance and/or reduce post weaning diarrhea of the piglets, said Animine in its presentation. Although the period of supplementation is early in the pig life, the very long biological half-life of heavy metals causes a risk of high Cd levels in the organs at the slaughter. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Turkey egg, chicken production up in July

    Turkey's egg production reached 1.2 billion units in July, up 1.9 percent compared to June numbers and up 16.8 percent when compared to July 2011, according to the country's latest statistics.
    Turkey's chicken production grew to 163,806 tons, up 4.1 percent in July over June and up 9.5 percent over 2011 numbers. Slaughtered chicken reached 101 million units, an 8 percent increase on June numbers and an 11.6 percent upswing when compared to July 2011, according to TurkStat.

US poultry exports continue upward trend

    Poultry meat exports for the first seven months of 2012 reached more than 2.3 million metric tons, valued at $3 billion — an increase of 9 and 18 percent, respectively — from the same period in 2011, according to the most recent trade data released by the Foreign Agricultural Service. Both export quantity and value set all-time records for the same period.
    While exports of broiler meat (excluding chicken paws) for July were down approximately 7 percent — at 273,473 metric tons compared to 2011 numbers — export value reached almost $342 million, up 2 percent from 2011. The decline in broiler shipments in July is largely because of decreased shipments to Hong Kong, Georgia, Cuba, Vietnam and South Korea, according to Foreign Agricultural Service reports. Exporters increased shipments to other markets, however, including Mexico, Kazakhstan, Russia, Taiwan and Ghana, which helped bolster the total. Cumulative broiler meat (excluding paws) exports in the first seven months set export records for quantity and value. More than 1.8 million metric tons were shipped, valued at $2.4 billion, jumping 10 and 23 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2011.
    Shipments to Mexico for the first seven months of 2012 grew by 19 percent to 311,068 metric tons, while exports to Russia were more than doubled at 162,964 metric tons. Deliveries to Canada were 93,869 metric tons, up 20 percent, while exports to Angola reached 92,137 metric tons, a 28 percent increase year-on-year. Exports to other important markets were Cuba, 87,814 metric tons, rising 122 percent; Taiwan, 77,626 metric tons, up 18 percent; Iraq (including transshipments via Turkey) 74,604 metric tons, down 4 percent; Hong Kong, 72,065 metric tons, decreasing 46 percent; Kazakhstan, 62,459 metric tons, increasing almost six-fold year-on-year; and China, 47,418 metric tons, up 46 percent.

    Egg Exports
    For table eggs, exports for July were approximately 9 million dozen valued at $7.9 million, a growth of 46 and 50 percent, respectively, according to the reports. Increased shipments to Hong Kong, Angola, Canada and Mexico were responsible. From January to July, table egg exports were 58 million dozen, valued at $52 million — up 36 and 33 percent year-on-year, respectively. Of the total shipments, 79 percent — or 46.3 million dozen — were shipped to the top five export markets: Hong Kong, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Angola and the Bahamas.
    For egg products, July exports were valued at more than $11 million, up 17 percent from July 2011. While the export value to Japan decreased by 29 percent to $1.6 million, exports to the EU-27 increased by almost 73 percent to $1.4 million. Also, exports to Canada and Mexico increased significantly year-over-year.
    For more information and statistics on U.S. poultry and eggs, see

Grain aphids could be greater threat to 2012 grain harvest

    The 2012 harvest may see a greater and more challenging aphid migration into cereal crops as a consequence of growing instances of pyrethroid resistance in the grain aphid (Sitobion avenae), according to the Home Grown Cereals Authority and the Insecticide Resistance Action Group.
    This could have implications for barley yellow dwarf virus control this autumn, said the two groups. Home Grown Cereals Authority-supported testing carried out by Rothamsted Research has shown that aphids carrying the kdr mutation — associated with resistance to pyrethroids — have increased in frequency in 2012. The mutation was first identified in the UK in 2011,mostly in East Anglia.
    Two new publications have been released which will assist with management of grain aphids in autumn 2012, including best practice measures to limit the risk of resistance and strategies that could be deployed if resistance is suspected during the autumn spraying period. A new Home Grown Cereals Authority publication contains the latest information on aphid management in both cereals and oilseed rape. A new Insecticide Resistance Action Group publication provides specific advice on the control of grain aphid populations that may contain individuals with resistance to pyrethroid sprays.

2013 International Production & Processing Expo surpasses 400,000 net square feet

    The 2013 International Production & Processing Expo has surpassed 400,000 net square feet in exhibit space, covering over 20 acres of exhibit area, according to show organizers.
    Comprised of three integrated tradeshows — the International Poultry Expo, the International Feed Expo and the American Meat Institute's International Meat Expo — more than 970 exhibitors have registered for the 2013 International Production & Processing Expo as of the beginning of September. This is the largest exhibitor count in a decade, said organizers.
    The global poultry, feed and meat industry tradeshow will be held Tuesday through Thursday, January 29–31, 2013, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. The expo will highlight the latest technology, equipment and services used in the production and processing of poultry, meat and feed products. It will also feature education programs addressing current industry issues.
    Workshops and education programs will be held from January 28 through February 1, 2013, and will include the annual line-up of the International Poultry Scientific Forum, Pet Food Conference, Animal Agricultural Sustainability Summit, and the American Feed Industry Association's International Feed Education Program. New for 2013 are the following educational programs:
    • Improving Food Safety, Sanitation and Maintenance
    • Animal Handling: Focus on Poultry Processing
    • Antibiotic Conference — Current Issues for the Poultry & Egg Industry
    • USPOULTRY/United Egg Producers Conference on the Future of the U.S. Egg Industry
    • Meat & Poultry Research Conference
    • Processed Meats Workshop
    • Consumer Trends — Best New Meat and Poultry Products
    • Operations: Risk Management & Lifestyle Analysis
    • International Regulatory Topics for Meat
    Back by popular demand is the National Renderers Association’s International Rendering Symposium and the Poultry Market Intelligence Forum.
    2013 show hours:
    • Tuesday, January 29, 2013: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Wednesday, January 30, 2013: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Thursday, January 31, 2013: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

China may adopt series of futures markets for eggs

    China could soon have a series of futures exchanges for eggs, said Wayne Liu, CEO China of the Sanovo-Lactosan Group, speaking at the International Egg Commission London Conference.
    The first eggs futures exchange was set up in Hubei province in May, and there are calls for other provinces to follow suit.
    The move follows the record high in egg prices in China in 2011. In 2012, although prices have declined, they rose sharply from mid-August through mid-September, leading to the local moniker “Rocket Egg.”
    Egg production is undergoing significant change in China, shifting from the traditional areas of north and north-east China to further south, closer the main centers of population. Currently, there are in excess of 1 million new layer projects planned or already underway, and farms with excess of 1 million birds are “cropping up all over China.” Alongside this expansion, the local egg market is increasingly regulated and various standards are being introduced, particularly relating to food safety and disease control.
    China is thought to have 1.4 billion birds and a production of 24 million tons of birds annually. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

US, Colombia poultry industries announce quota auction for US chicken

    Organizations representing the U.S. and Colombian poultry industries have announced the first quota auction for sales of U.S. chicken leg quarters to Colombia as part of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
    The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and Colombia’s FederaciĆ³n Nacional de Avicultores have launched a dedicated website to handle all sales transactions for the quota, which is 6,750 metric tons for the remainder of 2012. Bids open at 9 a.m. EDT on October 4, and close on October 5, at 5 p.m. EDT. Quota shipments are allowed to enter Colombia at zero duty, and the shipment period is October 10 through December 31.
    TRQ (tariff-rate quota) Certificates will be awarded to the highest bidder(s). Any person or entity incorporated or domiciled, with a legal address, in the U.S. is eligible to bid. The minimum bid quantity is 1 metric ton; the minimum bid price is $44.08/metric ton (i.e., $0.02/pound). Bids must be submitted in dollars and cents per metric ton. Bids should not be submitted in amounts that include fractions of a cent.

National Farmers' Union, ABN partner on poultry training program

    The National Farmers' Union and ABN have partnered to create the Poultry Industry Programme, a training program designed to give young people insight into market influences that impact British poultry meat and egg production, and create new industry leaders for British poultry.
    As part of the seven-month initiative, twenty participants will learn about the importance of lobbying and policy development, managing and mitigating risks in feed raw materials, and how planning and bank lending can influence business expansion. They’ll also receive training in media, social media, negotiation skills and a look at market demands from supermarkets and the British consumer.
    “I want those involved to take away skills that will add real value to their business and importantly an understanding of what the NFU does for them as poultry producers in the UK and Europe," said National Farmers' Union poultry board member Kinsey Hern. “I hope that some of them will remain involved with the NFU at some level, whether nationally, locally or regionally. You never know we may even produce a future president of the NFU.”
    In the long term, it is hoped the program will create a communication network between young producers and the poultry board, to help the National Farmers' Union put in place a succession plan for its poultry board, said organizers.

Drought shrivels US poultry industry confidence

    What does the current poultry industry have in common with the 1969 Chicago Cubs baseball team and golfer Greg Norman in the 1996 Masters Tournament? Like these famous collapses from front-runners, the perceived fortunes of the poultry industry have faded dramatically.

    Confidence reversal
    Just three months ago, I reported “confidence in the poultry sector has never been higher.” Now it’s near rock bottom:

    • lowest Overall Index ever (44.7 based on 1996 baseline = 100)
    • Lowest Future Profits Index ever (26.6)
    • Historically low Opportunities and Conditions measures
    • Lowest broiler and turkey Indices ever (35.7 and 43.6, respectively)

    Poultry outlook wilted with drought
    So, what happened? A severe drought has negatively impacted grain harvesting:

    • Corn harvest is expected to be 13 percent less than a year ago, resulting in the lowest production since 2006 and the smallest surplus since 1996
    • Soybean bushels are forecasted 14 percent below 2011 levels

    Costs making poultry operations unprofitable
    When coupled with rising energy costs – gasoline prices increased 27 cents per gallon during a single month – and the inability to pass on costs even though food prices were up 6 percent during July, poultry producers are forced into unprofitability.
    Although some poultry producers have compensated with reduced production, third-quarter trends are nearly equal to a year ago (although year-to-date placements are down 3 percent).
    Poultry retains edge in consumer value
    The only bright spot for the foreseeable future is the widening value gap of poultry, relative to other protein sources. The competitive efficiencies of poultry have made chicken products more attractive to consumers than beef or pork.
    Increased demand should help integrators weather this storm, but a return to long-term profitability will require significant changes in market conditions.

    Greg Rennier, Ph.D., is president of Rennier Associates, Inc., email

US poultry industry supports Mexico in Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership

    The National Chicken Council and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council have expressed their support for Mexico's inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, in response to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s request for comments and investigation on negotiating objectives with respect to the country's participation.
    “Mexico’s membership is unconditionally supported by our industry and we view its inclusion as an opportunity to demonstrate improved relations by our government agencies and, thusly, both of our industries,” said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown and export council President Jim Sumner.
    Mexico, which was not originally included in current negotiations, now joins Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The U.S. Trade Representative has asked the International Trade Commission to provide advice concerning the probable economic effect of a U.S. free trade agreement with the countries. Brown and Sumner said Mexico’s participation does not offer anything in terms of tariff reductions since the two countries have long eliminated duties on poultry products. What it does offer, they said, “is an opportunity for the two governments to negotiate on the two issues that remain thorns in the side of liberalized trade in poultry: lack of productive movement on sanitary and phytosanitary issues and the use of bogus antidumping cases to hinder trade.”
    Two negotiating objectives for Mexico’s inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership were also suggested:
    • The negotiation of a specific and mutually agreed work-plan and timetable for recognition of Exotic Newcastle Disease-free areas in Mexico, and for recognition of equivalency of the Mexican poultry inspection systems, with a view toward establishing an acceptable level of two-way trade as soon as possible, consistent with public and animal health protection.
    • The negotiation of a “peace clause” that would prevent either country from bringing antidumping cases, or imposing antidumping duties, on the other’s poultry products.

WATT webinar to probe poultry and grains outlook for 2013

    Join a webinar panel of three experts focusing on the economic outlook for poultry and grains in 2013, taking place on October 16 and hosted by WATT Publishing.
    The speakers for "Poultry and Grains Outlook for 2013" include Dr. Paul Aho, Poultry Perspective, poultry industry consultant and economist; Chip Flory, Farm Journal Media, editor of Pro-Farmer and expert on grain-farming trends; and Mike Helgeson, CEO of GNP Poultry. Gary Thornton, agribusiness content director for WATT Publishing, will moderate.
    Areas of focus for the panelists will include their forecasts for U.S. grain and poultry prices in 2013, and:
    • What is the profitability outlook for poultry producers in 2013?
    • How will corn supplies be rationed among meat and poultry producers?
    • What is the nutritional quality of the new corn and soybean crop?
    • Have U.S. corn yields plateaued and what does this mean for future supplies?
    • How high will wholesale and retail meat and poultry prices go in 2013?
    Plus, pose your questions to the panelists, live via the Internet, in a question-and-answer following their presentations. Registration is available online until the event begins at 10 a.m. EDT/9 a.m. CDT on October 16.

Iowa State University aims to improve swine dysentery diagnosis

    Iowa State University veterinary researchers are working on developing improved methods for diagnosing swine dysentery, a disease which has re-emerged in recent years with increasing case numbers since 2003, according to the university.
    The university veterinary diagnostic laboratory said it identified more than 100 cases in 2011, and 2012 seems to be tracking closely with those totals. Some possible causes for the re-emergence include changes in feeding practices that impact the intestinal microenvironment in pigs, changing genetics among herds or an emerging co-pathogen along with the bacteria that causes the disease, said Dr. Eric Burrough, an assistant professor in the Iowa State University Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine.
    Burrough also said the researchers have identified a newly emergent bacterial source which shares the genus of the classic swine dysentery bacteria but is not the same species. This new bacteria causes the same symptoms and is treated the same way, but the current tools used to identify swine dysentery can't detect it. “What we’re looking for is a more rapid diagnostic tool to identify both the classic bacteria and potentially novel strains that could cause swine dysentery,” said Burrough. “Until we find a method to screen for virulence with a faster turnaround, culturing will likely remain the most reliable means of confirming a diagnosis of this disease.”
    Swine dysentery is preventable through biosecurity measures, said the researchers, whereas treating it can be a costly proposition. “The bottom line is you don’t want your herd to be contaminated, and you can’t afford it,” said Dr. James McKean, a university professor and associate director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center.