A number of US pork farmers have started to scale back production as a result of the country’s massive meat surplus, according to reports.
American meat producers have 2.5 billion-pounds of beef, pork, chicken, and turkey – a record quantity – currently in cold storage, according to data from the USDA.
Now producers are reportedly running out of space to store the excess, which is building up as two of the largest foreign consumers of US meat – Mexico and China – have set tariffs on American pork in retaliation for US tariffs on steel – resulting in slower sales of meat.
This is starting to have an impact on pork farmers and processors, who are scaling back production, with some plants reportedly turning away pigs, and others cutting workers’ hours.
According to The Wall Street Journal, privately held hog-farming company Maschhoffs LLC, ‘has put on hold $30 million in investments planned to expand its breeding operations and upgrade truck washes and other biosecurity measures’.
Chairman Ken Maschhoff told the outlet: “We’ve got too much capacity built in this industry if we’re not going to be exporting more product.” He added that the company may expand into Eastern Europe or South America, where the animals cannot be raised as cheaply as in the States, but which have less ‘geopolitically charged’ trade policy.