Friday, November 26, 2021

Cheese barrels fall after cyberattack on US manufacturer

Prices for some processed American cheeses are plummeting as the largest US producer quietly recovers from a cyberattack.

A Schreiber Foods representative in Wisconsin was forced to shut down following the October 23 cyber event. The attack targeted the systems that power factories and distribution centers.

The company buys cheese in 500-pound barrels and then turns it into slices for a hamburger or sandwich. “When he stopped buying due to the attack, the barrels were piling up,” said Matt Gould, editor of The Dairy Market Analyst. By October 28, Schreiber’s operations had resumed.

Spot prices for cheese barrels traded in Chicago fell 17% last week, the highest in nearly a year.

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Global food supply chains are being tested by logistical and transportation chaos at a time when global demand is increasing. Cyberattacks are exacerbating uncertainty, also targeting meat giant JBS SA and the Iowa Grain Cooperative this year.

Other negative signs for cheese include conditions in ports on the US west coast, which have deteriorated significantly this week, likely leading to the cancellation of cheese shipments, Gould said.

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