US pig buyers choose alternatives to USDA data

The United States meat-packing industry has had to change the way it sets prices for slaughter pigs after the US Government shutdown stopped the publication market data fron the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Smithfield Foods has started using price information from CME Group, which owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where livestock contracts are traded, as an interim step that the company will review at the end of this week (October 12).

Tyson Foods and Cargill, meanwhile, have told producers they will use price data from Urner Barry, a company that’s closely followed by livestock packers and traders for its meat prices.

The USDA’s meat inspection service hasn’t been interrupted by the shutdown of the US Federal Government, which has been thrown into chaos by the failure of the two main political parties to sign-off on a budget.

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