Price Manipulation USDA investigates beef sector after plant fire

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Sunday, September 01, 2019
The plant processed about 6,000 cattle per day, representing around 5% of the total industry and a bit over 20% of Tyson’s capacity.
Photo: Tyson
The plant processed about 6,000 cattle per day, representing around 5% of the total industry and a bit over 20% of Tyson’s capacity.

The US beef sector is placed under scrutiny for price manipulation, with the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue ordering an investigation following a fire at Tyson’s Holcomb plant in Kansas.

He commented on the situation: “As part of our continued efforts to monitor the impact of the fire at the beef processing facility in Holcomb, I have directed USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division to launch an investigation into recent beef pricing margins to determine if there is any evidence of price manipulation, collusion, restrictions of competition or other unfair practices. If any unfair practices are detected, we will take quick enforcement action.”

The plant processed about 6,000 cattle per day, representing around 5% of the total industry and a bit over 20% of Tyson’s capacity, J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman said. The halt in slaughtering pushed Chicago Mercantile Exchange cattle futures down by their daily. Lower cattle prices could benefit other meat companies, which will see a larger supply while Tyson’s plant is closed, said Dennis Smith, broker for Archer Financial Services. Tyson competes with packers like Cargill and JBS USA.

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