Recent media reports have flagged disruptions in global meat markets, particularly the US beef market. Canada, Brazil, the US and Ireland continue to report closures of meat-processing plants because of Covid-19 infections. In the US, Ireland, and Canada, mainly beef and pork processing plants are affected, while in Brazil the closures are also impacting poultry-related processing plants.
Given the significant market share of these countries in the global meat trade (33%), if these processing plant closures spread and they remain closed for a prolonged period, there are fears of a global meat shortage and, potentially, an uptick in prices. The US, Canada and Ireland are among the top ten world beef exporters (as well as pork in the case of Canada and the US). In poultry, Brazil is the leading exporter, followed by the US, Poland, the Netherlands and Germany.