An eerie comparison between 1998 and 2020 for the pork industry


An eerie comparison between 1998 and 2020 for the pork industry

There is some concern in the pork industry that it could see another crash like it did in the late 90’s.  Joe Kerns, president of Iowa-based Kerns & Associates says pressure on shackle space in the final quarter of the year isn’t a new challenge for the pork industry and it’s something it has been battling for years.  “1998 was one where we exceeded the stated capacity for I want to say 13 weeks,” he says.  “Coming into the end of 2020, we are going to rival that.”

In fact, he tells Brownfield the two years offer an eerie comparison.  “In 1998 both Christmas and New Years both fell on a Friday and in 2020 we are going to see a repeat of the same thing,” he says.  “And the reason that is important is we probably have a reduced kill schedule on the Thursday in front of the holiday, and obviously taking the holiday itself off, and then little to no activity whatsoever on Saturday.”

Kerns says their analytics do trigger some red flags for the final quarter of this year.  “We are going to be on the edge if not even exaggerating what we experienced in 1998 as far as weeks as we surpass the state kill capacity,” he says. 

AUDIO: Joe Kerns, Kerns & Associates

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