BEEF bits

Dec 4, 2009
by WLJ



National Beef set for stock IPO

National Beef, Inc. revealed last Wednesday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it estimates a pricing of between $15 and $17 per share for its proposed initial public offering (IPO) to sell 17.25 million Class A common stock to raise up to $300 million. The company intends to have its Class A common stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “NBP.” In mid-October, National Beef had initially announced its intention to launch an IPO to raise up to $300 million. The Kansas City, Missouri-based company said it plans to use a portion of the proceeds from the IPO of its Class A common stock to acquire units of National Beef Packing Co. LLC.

Wolves transmit parasite to livestock

Sixty-three percent of Idaho’s wolves and 60 percent of Montana’s wolves have been found to carry the tape worm parasite known as Echinococcus granulosus. According to the most recent edition of the Journal of Wildlife Disease, this tape worm, previously unknown in Idaho and Montana, is now being found for the first time in mule deer, mountain goats and elk within the two states. The parasite causes fluid-filled cysts in the lungs and livers of wild and domestic ungulates and can be spread to humans. The tapeworm has been well documented in wolves in Alaska, Yukon Territory, British Columbia and Alberta, and DNA testing now strongly suggests the parasite was imported to Idaho and Montana with the Department of the Interior’s 1995 wolf introductions.

China lifts pork ban

China said last week that it will lift the ban on pork imports from North America. The ban was put in place after the initial outbreak of the H1N1 strain of influenza earlier this year. The trade barrier has caused a massive backlog of pork in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and caused prices to fall, limiting any potential price increase in competing meats at the same time. Although the ban has been lifted, actual trade may still take some time as details need to be formalized.

U.S. beef featured in St. Petersburg

A range of high-quality U.S. beef cuts were displayed at Peterfood 2009, an important regional food industry exhibition held Nov. 17-19 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Participation in the event was made possible through the support of the Beef Checkoff Program. About 200 exhibitors took part in the 18th edition of Peterfood, which attracts meat buyers and other food industry professionals from western Russia and the nearby region. This event reaches a very wide audience of potential customers from the region’s HR (hotel, restaurant and institutional), retail and meat processing sectors. Organic firm loses certification A federal judge has suspended Promiseland Livestock’s organic certification for four years because it kept inadequate records and refused to let inspectors review the records it did have. The livestock company has five ranches in Nebraska and Missouri. USDA filed a formal complaint against Promiseland in 2008 and a judge recently ruled on the complaint. The Promiseland problems were uncovered as part of an investigation of milk producer Aurora Organic Dairy of Boulder, CO, because Aurora had bought more than 12,000 cattle from Promiseland.

Producers reject Agriprocessors’ demand

Hundreds of companies that were paid by a bankrupt kosher slaughterhouse last year have been told to give back much of the money they received 90 days before the bankruptcy announcement. The companies received the letter this week from the trustee for Agriprocessors, Inc., whose lawyer says the companies can negotiate their return payments. The slaughterhouse declared bankruptcy in November 2008, months after an immigration raid. Manager Sholom Rubashkin was convicted last month of 86 counts of financial fraud. Cattle sellers like Jeff Reed of the Central Livestock Association say they won’t return the money. The trustee’s attorney, Dan Childers, says the demand ensures Agriprocessors didn’t hide money with relatives or otherwise disguise its assets.

Russia sets 2010 import quota

Russia has set its meat import quotas for 2010, Interfax News Agency reported. The country’s quota on the import of fresh beef will be 30,000 metric tons. The quota for poultry will be 780,000 metric tons, and the pork quota will be limited to 500,000 metric tons including 27,900 tons of trimmings. Russia’s Customs Union commission ruled that respective member states begin issuing licenses for quota-imposed imports from Dec. 15. The commission’s resolution takes effect Jan. 1, the report said.