Ag News: Timber Sales in Pandemic and Pork-Beef Exports Up
**The economic impacts of the pandemic include a drop in home construction, which has hurt timber sales, One California sawmill operator says he’s had to cut production in half as a result.
Though housing starts have dropped, market analysts say lumber sales at home-improvement stores have been rising, as people take on remodeling projects.
**U.S. pork exports completed a tremendous first quarter with new March records for volume and value, despite COVID-19 related headwinds facing international markets
That’s according to USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation that also shows beef exports trending higher at a record first quarter pace.
Recent events like temporary closures of several processing plants are not reflected in the first quarter data, but USMEF President Dan Halstrom cautions while April and May exports could slow, the outlook for 2020 remains positive.
**To this point, 2020 will forever be remembered as a year of let-down pricing and oversupply issues.
According to milkbusiness.com, while the outlook for dairy and milk prices have little upside in 2020, the first quarter ended with exceptional demand growth.
This buying pattern peaked with sales of milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream registering average volume growth rates of 55% in March versus this time last year.
Despite the growth, retail prices have collapsed to lows last seen in 2009.