When tuning for a news channel or scrolling through your Facebook feed. You are going to see one thing in standard these days. And that’s the news of Coronavirus, a disease which has now been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 13th March 2020. As a result, we can see it has caused disruption in our society. Schools and colleges have been closed until it’s been controlled. A top health official of the country said on Sunday that the U.S. needs to have more vigorous efforts to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus would be coming out over the next few weeks of time. A period which is said to be crucial to control the outbreak.
It appears on the Sunday morning news across several news platforms. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who is the present director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has told the people of the country that travel ban has lead to an in curbing up the transmission of the disease. On the other hand. Trump’s office has now officially banned international travelers coming from high-risk countries and regions such as China, which was previously the epicenter of this pandemic. And Europe, which is the current epicenter of COVID-19. Now the companies that are feeding the homes and the people of America are preparing themselves to hit the labor shortages as the novel Coronavirus intensifies its spread in America. This could result in leaving the companies strangled in terms of workers to manufacture, deliver, and unpack the required groceries in local stores in the coming months starting from April. As the virus in the country is spreading at such a high speed, owners of supermarkets and distribution companies are facing a difficult question. How to provide the shelves in the store with enough products while still keeping their workers safe from diseases.
Even at this moment, when you are reading this, many chains have already started up rationing up the products as shelves are of pasta, rice, and frozen products are getting empty by the hands of anxious customers. In addition to this, one of the most sold product is toilet paper. People are hoarding them in lots of quantity, along with bottled water. These scenes were quite similar to the ones we have seen during the time of the hurricane.
In recent years the pork and beef industry of the U.S. has not been getting up the profit number which they want from their businesses. In addition to this, a Wisconsin hog farmer who is also the president of NPPC Mr. Howard Roth wrote a group letter to Donald Trump that school closures were making parents stay away from work. As a result, it is creating a problem in the farm and processing of plant areas. In his statement, he said that the industry relied heavily on foreign labor and if there is no stable workforce. We can soon be going to see a rise in food prices as the production cost increases. Also, thousands of workers were needed every day to tend to pigs and operate them on slaughter plants.
Domestic Demand For Beef Continues To Plague The Industry
As the economic optimism was on rising, it has led to consumer beef purchases, while on the other hand, due to prompt money problems, people are seeking out less expensive options. There was a ray of hope in the past decade as we have seen growth in the beef market after the great recession time from 2007 to 2011. During which the consumption of beef per capita fell to merely 10%. But that recovery train is now at a halt due to the laggy demand for meat from China due to the spread of Coronavirus. And due to the increase in the number of infected people, the government is asking people to stay at home. As a result, people have stopped going out in public diners to have steak along with other meat products.
Likewise, the Journal came out with the shocking fact that U.S. cattle prices have fallen by 19% so far this year, and we are not even done with ¼ of the year. And it has been said it these numbers could get much worse if the situation relating to COVID-19 doesn’t resolve.
In the past few months, the stocks of the meat-producing company have taken a massive hit. One of the meat company named Tyson Foods has dropped 36%. On the other hand, the U.S. depositary has fallen to 32% in Brazil’s JBS.
Coronavirus Affecting The Livestock Strain
So far centers for disease control have come out with the figures of 34 million people are going to get ill because of the flue. And from these 34 million, around 3,50,000 will be hospitalized. Which is going to lead 20,000 deaths from flu. And that’s only in untied states.
Now due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. as up to 16th March, the states consist of 3000 cases along with 49 deaths. These numbers are the latest. On the other hand, as the Coronavirus spreads and has come to the states. It is going to lead the market to do a couple of things, which is quite common to see when any epidemic knocks the U.S. shores. As the people have seen the effect of the virus in China, people of our nation have stopped going out for parties and dinners. Also, they ended spending their money, which, as a result, caused the economic downturn that leads to stock prices being significantly lower.
A recent report by the Foreign Agricultural Service of USDA shows us the insight of how this pandemic had such a massive impact on South Korea, who is one of the critical customers of U.S. beef exports. Many of the companies have closed their offices along with their processing facilities to prevent the spread of the virus in their workers. Also, it has been noted that in no way a coronavirus can spread by food items. It doesn’t matter if they are frozen or cooked to serve hot. As for the supply of domestic beef, port, and poultry production, we can see the record rise in the demand this year from the previous year. But as the global demand is declining day by day. And the domestic demand also taking the hit there could be only a relative increase in the production.
The Misconception Harming The Industry
Many people are spreading up this hoax about the meat products being a good spreader of Coronavirus. As a result, a lot of meat lovers have stopped buying meat from their local stores. This leads to lower sales of meat products and stock being wasted as it spends all its time on the shelf. Furthermore, we have seen the trend of an increase in the pricing of beef in these months from February to March-end. But this year it has shown only a slight improvement from the start of February till now. You can see it for yourself last week. The Choice boxed beef cutout was increased just by 1.23$ per cwt. Which is lower than 8% of the previous year. As per now, we have seen an increase in the beef stock by 5% since the previous year. But if the people are not eating up their food. All that production will be wasted, leaving the economy of the country at the back foot.
What To Expect From Coronavirus?
At this moment, we can only wait for about the next 20 days as the government is trying to stop the spread in other states of the U.S. If the death toll increases and the number of patients increases, we could see the downfall of not just the Beef and pork industry. But the whole food industry as a whole. As people staying at home won’t be coming out, and markets and restaurants will be closed. Cause no one wants to get the virus. Last Friday, Donald Trump announced a national emergency due to COVID-19. As a result, they have freed up 80 million dollars from the emergency funds. The major cities that are in the effect of Coronavirus are Washington DC, New York, which is the economic capital of the country. California, which holds Silicon Valley along with Massachusetts. We can only hope the virus gets in control, and the world gets back on its feet.
The coming days are too important, and we urge every single citizen of the U.S. to keep themselves locked up in their homes and don’t come out unless it is necessary. And if you are feeling there are some symptoms that you are feeling could relate to COVID-19, you text on the helpline and ask for medical support. The families and the individual who is affected by the virus we urge you to take full precaution and take care of yourself and the loved ones. And please don’t spread the rumors of any kind in any way possible.
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