Domestic meat consumption rose again in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread disruptions to restaurants and food service, and the industry is watching to see if stimulus checks and the ongoing economic recovery can boost sales again this year.
The Department of Agriculture expects U.S. farm exports to hit a record $157 billion for fiscal 2021, an increase of $21 billion over the year before, as the global economy recovers and China increases its already strong demand for U.S. corn, soybeans and meat.
European farmers and ranchers offered their support as the EU signed pacts with Mexico, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, but they are raising alarms now over a massive deal with four South American countries that make up the Mercosur trade bloc.
Just eight months ago, U.S. chicken farmers were celebrating the reopening of the Chinese market. Now they’re cheering the dizzying pace of sales that have pushed China to the number-one position in April and May in foreign markets, and the trade shows no sign of slowing down.
Farm groups and their Senate allies are making their final pitches to Capitol Hill for billions in additional aid as lawmakers look to pass what is expected to be the last major coronavirus relief package this year.
China has banned chicken from a Tyson Foods plant in Springdale, Arkansas, just as U.S. exports of poultry to Chinese buyers are spiking, according to sources, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.
China will fully comply with its promises to buy U.S. ag commodities and the U.K. will be held to demands that it lift barriers on American farm products, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers Wednesday.
The American Farm Bureau Federation sent the Senate a wish list for the next coronavirus relief bill that includes a significant new round of aid to farmers as well as assistance for rural broadband and health care providers.
Farm earnings are likely to fall sharply this year despite the $16 billion in COVID-19 assistance payments now being distributed, and farmers’ income is likely to drop again in 2021 without additional government aid, according to a widely followed forecast of the agricultural economy.