Poultry to Uruguay: On April 21, Uruguay granted final approval for importing U.S. fresh and frozen poultry and poultry products, including fresh chicken. Following several years of technical discussions, U.S. Department of Agriculture representatives from the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service and the Food Safety & Inspection Service reached an agreement with Uruguay on sanitary measures for U.S. poultry products. Access to Uruguay had been previously limited to U.S. fresh and frozen turkey meat for a seasonal market and cooked (processed) chicken meat. U.S. poultry exports to Uruguay were valued at $250,000 in 2013, up from $130,000 in 2012, and there is potential to further expand exports under this new agreement.
PEDV impact: According to economist Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has killed 7 million pigs in 30 states. This summer, hog slaughter is anticipated to be reduced by 10%, and hog prices are likely to increase 15-25%, according to information the National Pork Producers Council presented at a House Agriculture Committee livestock hearing last week.
Eating habits: U.S. Department of Agriculture chief economist Joseph Glauber told the House Agriculture Committee that consumer surveys showed that in 2012, 43.1% of all food dollars were spent on food prepared away from home. Consumers chose almost 40% beef — 60% being ground hamburger — and 42% chicken in restaurants or foodservice establishments.