Tyson Foods’ beef plant delisting expands

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 431 views 

The nation’s largest meat company, Tyson Foods Inc., confirmed Tuesday (June 5) that its Finney County, Kansas, beef plant has been temporarily removed from the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) list of plants that are approved to ship beef to Japan, Taiwan and most recently South Korea.

“We’re working with FSIS officials to resolve this matter, which we believe involves a procedural issue,” corporate spokesman, Gary Mickelson noted in an email.

He said in the meantime, the company will continue to meet the beef needs of it customers in the affected counties with product from Tyson’s other FSIS-approved beef plants. 

Tyson has six other beef plants that are permitted to export to Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Last year Tyson Foods averaged a weekly cattle slaughter of 141,750 head which resulted in gross beef revenue totaling $13.3 billion. Beef sales to South Korea totaled $1.596 billion, while Japan purchased beef products totaling $931 million in 2011.

Beef packer margins continue to average about $21 per head with live cattle prices holding around $117 to $119 per hundredweight. If tighter supplies for finished cattle occur in the second half of the year and exports and domestic demand hold together, live cattle prices could return to the $125 range – further compressing packer margins, according to commodity analysts.