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‘Meat shortages will be occurring’: Coronavirus doing weird things to the pork industry

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The coronavirus has disrupted the supply chain for meat — and industry insiders expect a shortage to hit grocery stores.

Tyson Foods Inc. temporarily shut down its largest pork plant — the sixth major meat facility to close during the COVID-19 outbreak — and meat processing has slowed across all segments of the industry, reported Bloomberg.

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“Meat shortages will be occurring two weeks from now in the retail outlets,” said Dennis Smith, a senior account executive at Archer Financial Services. “There is simply no spot pork available. The big box stores will get their needs met, many others will not.”

About 15 percent of the hog-slaughtering capacity is completely offline, and additional slowdowns are hobbling beef and poultry companies.

Meat prices are starting to surge as slaughterhouses close, but farmers don’t have a market for their animals — and the drop in hog futures could force farmers to euthanize their hogs and bury them as supplies back up.

That could, in turn, push grocery stores to ration pork chops, driving up retail costs.

Frozen pork inventories dropped 4.2 percent from February to March, the biggest drop for that month since 2014, but that decline came before slaughterhouse shutdowns began this month as workers got sick from the virus.

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“For all the talk of cold-storage supplies, it’s just never a lot,” Bob Brown, an independent market consultant in Oklahoma. “It’s roughly a week’s worth of production in the freezer.”

The prices for pork belly — which gets turned into bacon — have more than doubled over four days this week, but the prices for hogs have plummeted because there’s nowhere to process them.

That dislocation has driven up profit margins for meatpackers by about 340 percent since April 1, because the animals cost less but the finished product is far more valuable for plants that haven’t been hit by the virus.

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Some meatpackers have given raises and bonuses to workers to fight a high rate of absenteeism over illness concerns.


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Pompeo is helping Trump destroy US credibility around the world — according to a former assistant secretary of state

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President Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear that he prefers loyalists in his administration. And Trump has no greater loyalist than Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose unquestioning devotion to the president is the focus of a scathing op-ed by Michael H. Fuchs (former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs) for The Guardian.

“Donald Trump’s disdain for the people, country and values his office is supposed to represent is unmatched in recent memory,” Fuchs asserts. “And he has found in the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, a kindred spirit who has embraced his role as Trumpism’s number one proselytizer to the world.”

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Trump ‘completely blindsided party officials’ by threatening to pull GOP convention out of Charlotte

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This Memorial Day, President Trump took aim at North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, saying that Cooper couldn't guarantee that the venue would be filled to capacity.

In a series of tweets, Trump said that although he loves the state of North Carolina so much that he "insisted" on having the convention there.

"Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena," he wrote. "In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space."

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Noam Chomsky says Trump a ‘sociopathic megalomaniac’ who made US ‘singularly unprepared’ for pandemic

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New comments from the renowned academic come after he accused Trump of wanting "to destroy the prospects for all organized human life... in the near future."

World-renowned intellectual and author Noam Chomsky called U.S. President Donald Trump a "sociopathic megalomaniac" whose leadership drove the U.S. to become "singularly unprepared" for the coronavirus pandemic.

Chomsky's fresh criticism of the president came in an interview with Agence France-Presse published Monday.

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