Check with us for a weekly update on commodities pricing as well as the regional and national news and weather that affect prices. Use these updates to plan purchasing and menu changes that take advantage of the local and national pricing components.
Post Date: November 10, 2013
Overall demand for beef is weak but production is down significantly which is putting upward pressure on prices. Some cuts are experiencing sharp increases. Competing proteins continue to be the retail feature items. Live Cattle traded late last week at $129 CWT, up $1 from the week prior. Feeders are continuing to ask for higher and it looks like the packers will have to pay it to get cattle purchased. rounds InsIdes: Prices are up slightly and will likely remain stronger for the next few weeks.
Flats: Prices will continue overall steady to up for the next several weeks.
Eyes: Steady to up is the normal trend going into early fall.
Peeled knuckles: A steady market to up slightly for the next few weeks is expected.
Post Date: November 3, 3013
For the week, Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Mondays load count was notably light with 77 loads being reported. The Choice round and loin primal was steady to firm while Select was firm to higher. The Select and Choice rib and Chuck primals were higher. Responding to the cooler temperatures across the country, the Chuck primal had the highest gains this session as all the cuts trended upward. On Wednesday, the Boxed beef cutout value was $200.79; the first time the cutout value was over 200.00 since 06-17-2013 when it reached 201.19. Live steer prices were also at historical levels when they traded at 132.36 this week. Tens of thousands of cattle died as a result from an unexpected blizzard in South Dakota in early October; impacting a historically small herd size. Forward sales were light with a large consignment of Select briskets trading at a price higher than the spot market. There was no comparable weekly data to trend the grinds or beef trimmings.
Post Date: October 6, 2013
Cabbage Cabbage is being harvested in North Carolina. Quality is good but the supply is somewhat limited. The market is stable.
Corn: The quality is good but the supply on yellow corn is limited. Corn is being harvested in South Carolina and Virginia.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers quality is good but is supply is somewhat limited. The cucumbers are being harvested in North Carolina and Michigan. This market seems to be stable.
Eggplant: The quality and supply is good. Our eggplant is being harvested in North Carolina. This market is showing a little strength.
Bell Peppers: The quality is and the supply is ok. Our green pepper is being harvested in North Carolina and Tennessee. The green and red pepper market is showing some strength.
S/N and C/N Yellow Squash: Yellow squash supply is very limited and quality fair at best. We are harvesting a very small amount of yellow squash in North Carolina and Tennessee. This market is very strong due to no supply. I do not know when this will get better. All orders from vendors have been prorated..
Zucchini: The quality is good but the supply is somewhat limited. The zucchini that we are shipping is being grown in North Carolina and Tennessee. This market is showing some strength.
Post Date: September 1, 2013
Live Cattle traded late last week at $119 CWT, lower by $1.00 CWT to the week prior. Anticipation of lower demand after the 4th of July was the main factor in Live Cattle prices moving lower. Live Cattle futures have been stronger the last several weeks, but this was not enough to hold cash prices at least steady. ?e cutout ended up slightly last week. Strength in the Round, Chuck and ?in Meats outweighed the loss in value on the Rib and Loin sub primals. Last week’s production came in at 559,000 head, 93,000 head lower than the previous week. ?is number came in about 20,000 head lower than expected. Expectations are for the harvest to come in around 650,000 this week, close to the numbers we saw before the holiday week. Carcass weights ended the week up another 2 pounds from the week prior and are running 4 pounds less than last year. Pounds of production last week was lower by almost 15% versus the week prior and came in about 3.5% lower than last year at this time.
Post Date August 11, 2013
Cream demand from ice cream/soft serve accounts is higher this week and luring cream loads away from butter production in all regions. Overall butter production is lower for the week. A few plant operators are purposefully selling cream into those markets to rein in butter inventory buildup. Bulk butter markets are diverse. Market participants found West bulk butter clearing at 5 cents under, Central butter pricing is flat, and East butter sales garnered up to 8 cents over the market. Storms across much of the U.S. this week affected late planting schedules. Heat in the southern tier of states is stressing cows and production is beginning to show some signs of slowing down. Northern areas of the country were cooler. Delays in planting and late harvest of forages have processors worried about continued milk supplies. Class I usage levels are lower as schools end their sessions.
Post Date June 2, 2013
Live Cattle traded late last week at $124-124.50 CWT, $0.50 to $1 CWT lower than the week prior. Cattle prices moved lower again due to continued concerns that beef demand will slow after Memorial Day given the record high cutout prices. ?e Choice Beef cutout set record highs every day last week until Friday when prices softened slightly. ?e Select cutout did soften Wednesday after nearing record highs earlier in the week. Expectations are for Live Cattle prices to trade steady to possibly lower again this week due to continued concerns for boxed beef demand at current price levels. Also future prices are trading quite a bit lower than the cash market for June. We should see a combination of lower cash prices and higher future pricing as we head into June. ?e cutout ended up almost $0.50 CWT again last week. Rib meat drove most of the increase in last week’s cutout. All other sub-primals remained mostly steady. Last week production came in at 648,000 head, down 4,000 head from the week prior. Production is expected to be lower by quite a bit this week versus last week due to shortened holiday production schedules. Carcass weights ended the week lower by another pound and are now running 2 pounds less than last year. Pounds of production last week was lower by about 0.5% versus the week prior and running just over 1% higher than last year at this time.
Post Date May 26, 2013
As almost all of the industry members have migrated over to the new mandatory pork reports, reported trades to the voluntary report were near nil. Therefore, it is very difficult to discern what occurred in the pork trade. No comparisons The composite cutout value of 53-54% 205 lbs. hog carcass was estimated at 77.08 per cwt. dn 0.03 from last Friday.
Post Date May 1, 2013
Boxed beef cutout values for the week were mostly steady to weak on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Inclement weather late in the week caused some disruptions in kill schedules and likely caused some delays in delivery schedules for beef. Rib, chuck and round primals all traded steady to weak. The loin primal was the only area of the carcass that finished out with slightly firmer prices compared to last Friday. Beef trimmings were mostly steady although late in the week trading volumes were light. Fed and blended cattle grinds traded steady to firm. Forward negotiated sales were moderately active with a notable consignment of Choice outside rounds at prices comparable to the spot market.
Post Date February 17, 2013
As red meat consumption continues to decline and fewer, albeit heavier, cattle come to market, USDA is now projecting it will be 2016 before U.S. beef production stops declining.
In its recently released, “USDA Agricultural Projections to 2022” report, the agency also predicted U.S. per capita beef consumption is not likely to return even to last year’s levels over the next 10 years.
The report estimated 2011 U.S. per capita beef consumption at 57.3 pounds, declining to 56.8 pounds in 2012. It forecasts per capita consumption will be identical in 2013 and in 2022 at 54.8 pounds.
USDA projected a 4.2 percent reduction in commercial beef production this year, followed by a 2.1 percent decline in 2014 and a decline of 0.9 percent in 2015. By 2016, it expects beef production to rise by 2 percent then continue to rise slowly through 2022.
As for cattle prices; no real relief in sight for processors. USDA estimated the farm price for beef cattle was $113.25 per hundredweight in 2011, jumping to $121.16 in 2012. It forecasts cattle prices will average $126.60 in 2013 and could hit $130 by 2021.
Post Date: February 3, 2013
Boxed Beef cutout values for the week were firm on moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. With cattle prices on the rise, packers hoped that the boxed beef cutout would follow suit. While overall prices trended firmer, low load counts getting turned in on the spot market indicated struggling demand for product, particularly on Choice. The rib primal made the most gains for the week, with Select cuts outperforming Choice. Chuck and round primals were generally firm while loin cuts held steady. Out front sales were light with no major consignments. Beef trimmings traded lightly until late in the session when prices began to fall as packers unloaded some product. Fed cattle grinds similarly experienced a weakening market. For the week: Select and Choice rib primal 2.00 to 8.00 higher; Select and Choice chuck and round primals mostly 1.00 higher; Select and Choice loin steady. Beef trimmings were 2.00 lower. Fed cattle grinds were mostly 7.00 to 10.00 lower while blended grinds were generally steady.
Post Date: January 27, 2013
This trading period retail cuts continued to struggle to move as an abundance of fresh pork continues to enter the marketplace. With this week’s harvest number estimated to be 2,225,000, the industry is still running 1% above year ago levels. With that being said, the abundance of retail meat in the supply chain is above the demand curve needed to move prices higher. Both bone-in and boneless loins struggled to finish the week higher. Although bone- in loins did see some strength in the middle of the week, but fell short by late week. Spareribs struggled to move as well this week. Medium ribs were more plentiful than light spareribs and were mostly weak throughout the trading period. Bone-in ham price haven’t been reported since January 07, leaving many wondering what is going on in the domestic market. Ham prices have been in a good position for the past two weeks as most packers continue to fill orders on a market basis and excess loads continue to be exported. This is normally a quiet season for hams as the industry is in the lull between processing for the holiday season and processing for Easter. Seedless bellies, much like hams, are in a good position and packers continue to fill customers’ needs on a market basis. The trimming complex was in good position on lean trimmings and boneless picnics as these markets moved higher throughout the trading period. On the other hand, 42% trimmings saw increased product and prices slid accordingly.
Post Date: January 20, 2013
Boxed Beef cutout values were firm on moderate demand and offerings. The rib primal traded higher this week while the chuck and round primal remained steady. The loin primal traded lower this session. Sales were more active this week, particularly on Wednesday when a large movement of Choice chuck rolls pushed the overall load counts over two hundred. Forward negotiated activity was light with no major consignments this week. The Fed grinds were steady while the blended cattle grinds were mostly firm.
Post Date: December 9, 2012
Whole broiler/fryer prices are steady to weak in the Midwest, steady to instances firm in the West, and steady in the East. Preliminary majority prices are unchanged to lower in the Midwest, unchanged elsewhere when compared to early week prices. Offerings are moderate to more available for current trade needs. Retail and food service demand is light to instances good entering the weekend. Floor stocks are mixed. Market activity is moderate. In the parts structure, movement is fair to moderate. Prices are trending steady to firm for wings and dark meat items, weak to lower for bone-in breast and steady for the balance. Offerings are light to moderate for wings and clearing well. Bone-in breast are available and slow to clear. Other items are sufficient for current needs. Market activity is slow to moderate. In production areas, live supplies are moderate; weights are mixed at mostly desirable weights.
Post Date: December 2, 2012
Boxed beef cutout values firm on light to moderate demand and offerings. With cattle prices moving higher, packers hoped to follow suit but instead found themselves struggling with buyer demand. The rib primal was the only area of the carcass to experience good demand as packers managed to push Choice export ribs and light lip-ons to record highs. Chuck cuts showed moderate weakness early in the week but then held firm for the remainder of the light trading session. Round and loin primals were mostly steady to weak. Forward sales were slow with no notable consignments. Beef trimmings continue to have light spot market sales with light demand and offerings.
Post Date November 25, 2012
Boxed beef cutout values generally steady on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. The upcoming holiday weekend throws a wrench into delivery schedules for both buyers and sellers which can have a hampering effect on demand. Price spreads widened on individual cuts as prices became dependent on whether they delivered before or after Thanksgiving Day. Chuck and rib cuts in particular demonstrated weakness, especially on Select quality. While early week sales were markedly light, mid to late week sales demonstrated higher overall load counts. This clear effort by packers to achieve sound inventory levels is mostly due their own expectation of next week’s shortened sales window and historically weak buyer demand. Forward negotiated sales were light to moderate with a notable consignment of Choice inside rounds at prices comparable to the spot market. Beef trimmings were steady on light demand and offerings, however a weak undertone is evident as the market seems to have shifted away from low supply in exchange for light demand.
Post Date- November 11, 2012
Beef: Boxed beef cutout values were mostly steady on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate to heavy offerings. This week’s increased overall load counts combined with relatively steady prices lends some evidence of improved demand compared to last week. Middle meats continued their upward trend as the holiday season approaches, with Choice product enjoying most of the gains. End meats, on the other hand, had another round of weakening prices. Beef trimmings have had slow trade trade activity since last Friday with prices trending sharply higher as a result of light offerings. Ground beef prices were mostly steady but some weakness was evident on higher lean percentages. For the week: Select and Choice rib primal 3.00 to 6.00 higher; Select and Choice chuck primal steady to 2.00 lower; Select and Choice round primal 1.00 to 4.00 lower; Select and Choice loin primal steady to 4.00 higher; Beef trimmings 28.00 higher; Fed cattle grind steady to 2.00 lower and blended grinds mostly steady.
Dairy: Cheese prices at the CME Group cash trade went below the $2.00 level this week. Prices at midweek were dramatically lower as barrels were $.1650 lower and blocks were $.1200 lower on Wednesday. Friday’s close at the CME Group was also lower as barrels were $.0750 lower and blocks were $.0700 lower. The market was not unprepared for the price change, but buyers were hesitant to purchase above immediate needs. Weather issues on the East Coast from Hurricane Sandy and the Northeaster snow storm have complicated deliveries and orders from that region. Retail sales across the rest of the country remain good, while manufacturing cheese sales have slowed at current price levels. Cheese production is uneven to mostly steady with plants watching inventory levels to remain current. The CME cash butter price eased during the first half of the week, but firmed by week’s end to $1.8900. Churning schedules are quite active across the country as cream volumes are available for butter producer needs. In many instances, butter producers report that cream volumes are often heavier than they are willing to take on. Many butter makers are closely monitoring their supply/demand balance with many working down inventories rather than enhancing them. Butter demand has been very good going into the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period with many promotional activities scheduled. Some last minute butter orders continue to be placed, but for the most part, Thanksgiving needs are in the books and final shipments are occurring. Conditions were improving in the Northeast, but a Nor’easter storm invaded the region. The storm brought high winds and snow across wide areas and was creating havoc to the electrical grid. Assessments are being made to warehouses and finished product viability following sustained power outages in the aftermath of the initial storm. Class I demand was strong following the storm, tightening milk supplies available to manufacturers. Mild weather in Florida and the Southeast is creating a good environment for milk output increases in the state. Milk production is steady to slightly higher in the Southwest, continuing the trend of recent weeks in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Post Date- November 4, 2012
Boxed beef cutout values were higher on light to moderate demand and light offerings. This week was notable in that the Choice cutout value on Wednesday of 199.38 reached its highest point since October 2003, when the BSE situation was forefront. The majority of cutout gains for the week were mainly through solid appreciation of the rib and loin complexes for both Choice and Select. The chuck and round cuts trended generally steady overall, although some depreciation of chuck rolls and flats were noted late in the session. Thursday’s volume count of Choice and Select product under 100 loads is also an indication of increasing buyer resistance to the relatively high prices. Forward business was relatively quiet with the exception of 73% and 93% ground beef both priced consistent to spot levels. Beef trimmings were higher on light to moderate demand and light offerings. Fed cattle and blended grinds trended firm on light to moderate demand and offerings. Fresh retail pork cuts saw vast amounts of offerings this week as harvest numbers are still running above seasonal norms. This combined with tightening margins saw packers try to support the cutout as much as possible, but with an early-estimated 2,385,000 head to be harvested, packers were forced to take lower money for their abundance of product. This was seen in most every primal. Loins, both bone-in and boneless saw values fall sharply as retail ads, which dominated the demand of loin meat early in the month, diminished. Butts, like loins, saw a huge decrease in demand as retailers began to think of turkeys and hams for the upcoming holiday season. The supply of fresh ribs remains tight as many packers continue to make St. Louis and barbecue style spareribs to send to the freezer. Bone-in hams saw generally steady prices throughout the week, but increased pressure continues to attempt to force prices lower. 42% trimmings were in abundance throughout the industry and prices were lowered almost daily. Seedless bellies were not tested this week as packers continue to sell product on a market basis. All the while, retail demand for bacon continues to be very good.
Post Date- October 28, 2012
Beef: Boxed beef cutout values were higher on light to moderate demand and light offerings. This week was notable in that the Choice cutout value on Wednesday of 199.38 reached its highest point since October 2003, when the BSE situation was forefront. The majority of cutout gains for the week were mainly through solid appreciation of the rib and loin complexes for both Choice and Select. The chuck and round cuts trended generally steady overall, although some depreciation of chuck rolls and flats were noted late in the session. Thursday’s volume count of Choice and Select product under 100 loads is also an indication of increasing buyer resistance to the relatively high prices. Forward business was relatively quiet with the exception of 73% and 93% ground beef both priced consistent to spot levels. Beef trimmings were higher on light to moderate demand and light offerings. Fed cattle and blended grinds trended firm on light to moderate demand and offerings.
Pork: Fresh retail pork cuts saw vast amounts of offerings this week as harvest numbers are still running above seasonal norms. This combined with tightening margins saw packers try to support the cutout as much as possible, but with an early estimated 2,385,000 head to be harvested, packers were forced to take lower money for their abundance of product. This was seen in most every primal. Loins, both bone-in and boneless saw values fall sharply as retail ads, which dominated the demand of loin meat early in the month, diminished. Butts, like loins, saw a huge decrease in demand as retailers began to think of turkeys and hams for the upcoming holiday season. The supply of fresh ribs remains tight as many packers continue to make St. Louis and barbecue style spareribs to send to the freezer. Bone-in hams saw generally steady prices throughout the week, but increased pressure continues to attempt to force prices lower. 42% trimmings were in abundance throughout the industry and prices were lowered almost daily. Seedless bellies were not tested this week as packers continue to sell product on a market basis. All the while, retail demand for bacon continues to be very good.
Post DateOctober 21, 2012
Beef: Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Probably the mostly impressive accomplishment in boxed beef this week was the packers’ ability to firm up their sale prices throughout the carcass without compromising sale volumes. In fact, Wednesday’s spot market reported nearly 260 loads of cuts, partially due to considerable movement in Choice shoulder clods. For perspective’s sake, the daily report hasn’t published over two hundred loads since mid-July. Late week sales, however, did show some evidence of weakness in Select middle meats as price spreads widened. Fed cattle grinds were weak this session, most noticeably on 81% lean, which experienced some lower priced trades. Forward business also saw increased sales this week, with significant consignments of Choice inside rounds, Choice flap meat, and 73% ground beef at prices that were comparable to the spot market. Beef trimmings saw moderate firmness but continued trading in the mid-50s throughout the session.
Pork: The same song was sang again this week for retail pork cuts, limited offerings and more than adequate demand allowed trading levels to be firm throughout the week. In spite of a sizeable harvest, price levels for processing cuts also firmed on just a few trades. Most buying was sporadic due to limited demand for these cuts. Fat trim advanced early while lean trim was later in the session. At the same time, boneless picnics finished the week steady. Overall, the buying community is waiting for more orders before committing to additional raw product as most were buying on an as needed basis.
Post Date- October 7, 2012
Beef, Veal & Lamb- Beef output last week rose 3.6% but was 1.6% smaller than the same week in ’11. Beef production this fall is forecasted to be down 3.5% versus a year ago. This is likely to be supportive of the beef markets. Since ’07, the average move over the next eight weeks for the tenderloin and ribeye markets is 18% and 23% higher. History suggests that the downside risk from here for the 90% beef trim market is limited. Fifty-percent trim prices typically bottom in early-October before appreciating into November. But, poor LFTB demand is likely to temper any higher move for the 50% trim market this fall.
Dairy- The CME cheese block market is trading at its highest since August ’11. Cheese stocks have been tight due mostly to slowed milk production this summer. Oceania cheese prices have softened and remain at an abnormally large discount to U.S. cheese. This is curbing U.S cheese exports. History points to the block market moving 3% lower in October. The CME butter market is steady which is normal for the early fall. Butter prices tend to peak in November and then move down by 17% until year-end. Any butter seasonal price declines this fall may be less intense. Prices per pound, except Class I Cream (hundred weight), from USDA.
Poultry- Chicken producer margins have improved due to fading grain prices but remain historically poor. Last week the ARA weekly chicken cutout index fell to its lowest level since early-May. Soft chicken prices along with high grain prices could challenge producer profitability going forward. Still, chicken production this fall is projected by the USDA to rise 1.6% over ’11. The chicken breast markets are declining and further depreciation may be pending. Since ’07, the average move for the boneless skinless chicken breast market during the next six weeks is 10.7% lower. Chicken wing prices have steadied. The jumbo cut chicken wing market normally rises 6.1% from now through the end of the year.
Post Date- September 30, 2012
Beef: The boxed beef market trended higher this session as expected following last week’s higher fed cattle market. In an attempt to recapture margins, packers managed to raise prices throughout the carcass, particularly in the chuck complex. In fact Wednesday set all time record highs on chuck rolls for both Choice and Select grades. Although packers advanced the cutouts this week, aged product on inventory remains a factor as evidenced by wider than normal price ranges on many items, particularly the loin complex. Beef trimmings were generally steady as the expectation of a lower slaughter rate this week was more than offset by underwhelming demand. Fed cattle and blended grinds were mixed on slow trading, with the only noticeable trend being more strength in the lower lean percentage items. The high quotes on CME deferred months for live cattle continues to discourage forward business with some ground chuck priced consistently to spot levels the only notably sized booking.
Pork: With another large wave of hogs coming to harvest this week packers sat in the doldrums wondering if they needed to prepare to take lower money for their product or hold out and hope export demand helps absorb some of it. The packers seemed to have the upper hand because lighter volumes of hogs coming to harvest late week allowed packers to cut harvest back slightly. This coupled with improved export demand saw late week sales become a stalemate. Sales on bone-in loins improved throughout the week as packers were boning a large portion of their loins. This was evident in the sales of boneless loins as the price of this item slipped throughout the week. Butt prices settled lower by late in the trading period as domestic demand finally hit the saturation point. Spareribs saw mostly steady prices throughout the week with some improvement late week. Bone in hams saw excellent domestic demand throughout the week and packers were tight on product early week which made it a battle to come up with negotiated loads. This coupled with good export demand helped all weights of hams move higher by late week. Bellies were under pressure all week with some packers attempting to create interest for the freezer while others were trying to hold the complex together. This created a two-tiered market which struggled to find a consensus all week. The lean trimming complex saw improvement by late in the trading period as tighter supplies surfaced due mostly to fewer hams being boned, as more bone-in hams were being exported.
Dairy: Dairy Cheese prices moved sharply higher this week at the CME Group. Sales activity was moderate with buyers looking to take possession of offered supplies. Daily price increases were the norm this week. Cheese production schedules were constrained by tight milk supplies and higher costs for many milk solids. Demand for cheese increased as additional buyers looked to fill holiday needs before any anticipated price increases. Retail and food service sales are good. Demand for mozzarella is reported to be very good as food service and pizza makers increased orders. The CME cash butter price continues to strengthen and the current price of $1.8900 is the highest cash price in over a year. The current cash price compares to $1.8500 last Friday and $1.8000 a month and year ago. Churning schedules are seasonally active. Cream supplies are generally more available to butter operations as Class II needs have eased and standardized cream volumes increase. Although cream supplies are more available, some butter producers continue to seek additional cream volumes for current and future butter needs. Farm milk production is transitional across the country. Southern and Southwestern areas note milk production has crossed the threshold into a new production season. Milk production in other areas is drawing close to the seasonal low point. Fluid milk demand moved higher this week, especially at the front end of the week. A few milk handlers indicated spot milk loads were difficult to find and some fluid orders waited until the end of the week for fulfillment. Supplies of manufacturing milk are light and plants across the country indicate they are operating well below capacity due to the squeeze on milk supplies. Cream supplies are steady, with upticks in demand from cream cheese and dips replacing slowing ice cream and ice cream mix interest.
Post Date- September 16, 2012
Beef: Boxed beef cutout values were firm on Choice and weak on Select on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Middle meats struggled with demand this trading session, especially on Select quality grades. End meats, on the other hand, were mostly steady to firm. Out front business was light to moderate with notable consignments of Choice light lip-ons and inside rounds at prices higher than the current spot market. Beef trimmings traded lower beginning on Tuesday as packers began cleaning up some inventory levels, but by Thursday prices already showed indications of recovering some ground. Fed cattle grinds were expectantly lower this session, however lower lean percentages held steady.
Pork: Lean boneless processing beef were and trimmings were slightly to moderately lower. Demand was moderate for moderate to heavy offerings. Trading activity was moderate. Weaker food service demand, the end of the summer demand season and heavy supplies of cull cows pressured prices this week. Market activity on imported beef was slow and prices were mostly weak to 2.00 lower. Demand was light to moderate for light offerings. Trading activity was slow. Cutter cow cutout values were moderately lower on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Chuck, round, rib, loin and flank items were mixed. 100% lean items were mixed.
Poultry: Whole broiler/fryer prices are steady in the East and West, steady to fully steady in the Midwest. Preliminary majority prices are unchanged overall when compared to early week prices. Offerings are moderate for current trade needs. Retail and food service demand is light to moderate with increased interest noted entering the weekend. Floor stocks are closely balanced to light. Market activity is slow to moderate. In the parts structure, movement is light to at times moderate. Prices are steady to firm for jumbo wings, steady to weak for whole breast and weak to lower for tenders and b/s breast. Dark meat items are mostly steady. Offerings of tenders and b/s breast are readily available and slow to clear. Dark meat items are moderate. Jumbo wings are light and moving well. Market activity for parts is slow to moderate. In production areas, live supplies are moderate at mixed, but mostly desirable weights.
Post Date- September 9, 2012
Beef: Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. This trend followed expectations in response to the higher cattle market and holiday shortened harvest schedule. End meats exhibited solid gains on the session with the sharpest appreciation in the Select category. Rib cuts were also higher; however packers struggled with loin cuts, particularly Select strips later in the session. Forward business was slow this week with the exception of Choice briskets priced slightly lower than the spot market. Beef trimmings were generally steady as the reduced offerings of the holiday-shortened week were offset by dwindling demand on the part of buyers. Fed cattle and blended grinds were generally steady this session.
Dairy: Demand remains good for cheese into retail sales with some added featuring this week. Food service demand is also showing some added interest with most schools back in session. While domestic demand is good, export interest is weaker as U.S. prices are above international prices in many cases. Export sales are being assisted by the CWT program. Manufacturers reported adequate inventories for current demand. The CME cash butter price eased slightly late in the week and closed at $1.8650. This cash price compares to $1.8400 a week ago, $1.7100 one month ago, and $1.9950 a year ago. Since September 6, 2011, the cash butter price has not surpassed the $2.00 level. Churning schedules during the past week, especially over the Labor Day weekend, have generally been stronger as holiday cream supplies were available to butter churns from coast to coast. The additional cream offerings varied in volumes, but for the most part were readily available. Class I demand is strong after the holiday weekend across much of the nation. Eastern supplies are tight with Florida importing 72 loads this week. Hurricane Isaac caused some temporary transportation problems with milk handlers in the Southeast. Eastern cream multiples were lower this week. Midwest manufacturing milk supplies were aided by the long holiday weekend as some plants took the weekend off and others worked extra shifts to increase inventories. California milk production is trending slightly higher as temperatures have moderated. Processors are handling current supplies with relative ease. New Mexico milk output is flat and tracking below year ago levels. Milk production in the Northwest is slowing following seasonal patterns.
Pork: Not even modest export demand for retail cuts could save the onslaught of sliding prices this trading period. With an estimated harvest 2.5% larger than the same holiday week last year, and very light domestic demand, packers were forced to take lower prices on most all retail cuts. Bone-in and boneless loins as well as butts all saw prices slip to the lowest levels since the first week in January of 2011. The highlight of the week seemed to be the sparerib primal. With an early week sell off; packers saw supplies tighten up by mid-week. Packers were able to ask higher money by late in the week. Bone-in and boneless hams struggled throughout the session as most trades were market based, while offerings were heavy on light demand. Although a weaker undertone was noted, trading for the spot market never really developed. Seedless belly offerings were moderate to heavy as well, as light trading mid-week pushed price levels lower. Still, these lower price levels never really sparked any additional movement, even though bacon slicers are running production lines at near capacity. Trim items also trended lower this week due to the abundant amount of product available as lean trim lost the most ground while bnls picnic meat came in second. Once price levels began to drop most sausage manufacturer’s step in and procured raw product to fill their needs.
Post Date- August 20, 2012
Beef-Boxed beef cutout values were higher on light to moderate demand and light offerings. The higher cattle market induced packers to raise asking prices in hope of preserving margins. Overall they were successful, although it was accomplished at modest activity levels. Both end meats as well as middles from both grades exhibited consistent gains throughout the week, with the only notable signs of weakness evident in some thin meat items. The biggest price advancement of the session though was ground beef, as this complex continues to benefit the most from Labor Day featuring. After several weeks of stagnation in the mid-40s, beef trimmings trended modestly higher with some trades crossing the 50 dollar threshold. Forward sale activity was subpar, though the modest bookings that did occur were at higher pricing than spot levels, in a reflection of the deferred premium for cattle futures.
Dairy-heese prices across the U.S. were higher this week. Last week’s price increases at the CME Group were reflected in higher spot prices this week. Prices at the exchange were the highest since mid-November of 2011. The recent increase has fueled interest in securing inventory before anticipated further price increases. Demand for Labor Day retail specials and filling the pipeline for school openings have added to immediate interest. Hot weather across much of the U.S. has impacted milk volumes available for processing and cheese plants are paying premiums in some cases to secure additional milk for cheese making. The CME cash butter price continues to steadily increase and settled at $1.7925 at week’s end. This price is the highest cash price since early November 2011. Churning activities across the country are mixed as butter producers implement various strategies when it comes to cream offerings and availability. Cream markets are firming and supplies are tighter in the Southwest. Eastern cream is tight in many areas but in the Central region, cream supplies increased in some areas and multiples moderated as Class II demand stepped seasonally lower and cream generated from Class I orders increased. Various Central milk handlers indicate that milk supplies and demand are in balance. California milk output is severely impacted by hot and humid weather, lowering milk intakes and solids levels. There are processors who would like to have more milk in the short term. Arizona milk production is steady to lower at seasonal low levels. Milk supplies in the Pacific Northwest are being affected by another session of high temperatures. Utah and Idaho milk production is also suffering from hot temperatures, resulting in lower volumes and less solids. Milk imports began for the year in Florida, where increasing school related demand has outpaced production, due to weather where cow comfort is “terrible”. Milk supplies are tight in the Mid-Atlantic region, but balanced in the Southeast.
Post Date- August 13, 2012
Beef-Boxed beef cutout values were firm on light to moderate demand and offerings. A lower slaughter pace at the end of last week helped provide a higher undertone going into the session. This in turn did provide some support to end cuts as these items trended firm throughout the trading period. Packers continued to struggle with middle meats however, as the extreme heat throughout much of the country along with the difficult economy continues to plague these items. Forward business became more notable in the Choice complex with moderate activity in both middle and end meats. Fed cattle grinds trended modestly higher this session, while blended grinds remained generally steady. Beef trimmings continued to trade in the mid-forties
Pork-Trading levels for retail cuts reversed course and lost value daily as supplies amassed throughout the week and many buyers bought on an as need basis only. The increase in availability was due the increased harvest rate for the second week in a row. Processing cuts lent support to the cutout this week, as prices for retail cuts slid. Bone-in ham price levels advanced slightly on light trading as most sellers were in good position throughout the week, while offerings were mostly light. Demand for raw seedless bellies increased slightly which pushed price levels sharply higher on just a few trades. At the same time, retailers have started to feature bacon in their ads in an effort to entice consumers to make BLT season happen. Lean trimmings traded steady with weaker undertones as a two-tiered market prevailed, while fat trim price levels advanced in response to increased demand and light offerings. Along with this, boneless picnic meat traded steady on light trading as demand was light.
Dairy-Cheese prices have traded up and down in a narrow range for the last three weeks. Contracted loads into large commercial customers have been moving well with some additional interest being shown for increased loads. Supplies are adequate for these needs, but inquiries from brokers looking to purchase spot loads are sometimes being deferred in favor of additional sales to continuing customers. Cheese plants are worried about milk supplies, especially in areas that have experienced hot, humid weather. Cheese plants would like to increase production schedules for fall foodservice needs, but are not getting all the milk they desire. Early week declines at the CME cash market were erased as the market trend reversed and the price closed at $1.6900, a gain of two cents from last Friday. The trade is assessing the release of the Dairy Products report showing June U.S. output at 136.8 million pounds, a 3.2% decline from a year ago. Year-to-date output through June at 996.0 million pounds is tracking 6.1% or 57.6 million pounds higher versus a year ago. Many churning operations continue to capitalize on the good returns for cream by selling at least some of their cream intakes and taking advantage of the current opportunities. Milk production continues to be impacted by weather conditions across wide areas of the U.S. Class I demand is beginning to increase as schools start in some areas of the country and demand will build over the next month. Cream markets are mostly steady to firm with fair to good demand noted from butter and ice cream accounts.
Post Date- August 6, 2012
Beef, Veal & Lamb- Beef output last week rose 2.4% and was 2.5% more than the same week a year ago. Beef production is projected to trend below ’11 levels during the next several months. The July 1st cattle on feed inventory was 2.7% larger than the prior year but June cattle placements into feedlots were 1.8% less than a year ago. Extremely poor US pasture conditions might push more cattle to slaughter this fall but could limit cattle supplies deep into ’13. This should support cattle and beef prices next year. Top butt and beef ribeye prices typically rise in early August due to increased demand for the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Dairy- June milk production was .9% more than last year due to a .4% rise in milk per cow yields and a .5% larger milk cow herd. Milk farmers reduced the herd by a net 19k head during June which was the largest monthly net reduction since October ’09. Further reductions in the milk cow herd this summer due to challenged producer margins could be supportive of dairy prices. The CME cheese markets remain elevated but the near term upside cheese price risk is likely nominal. The butter market is firm. Any butter market increases in August may only be modest.
Seafood- June US Gulf of Mexico shrimp landings were 34% below ’11 and the 2nd smallest for the month in 5 years. The recent rise in fuel prices could challenge US shrimp fishing in the coming weeks. Still, with roughly 90% of the shrimp consumed in the US sourced from abroad and solid shrimp imports persisting, the shrimp markets are likely to remain below year ago levels. Snow crab prices remain relatively elevated.
Post Date: July 30, 2012
Beef, Veal & Lamb: Beef output last week was 2.5% less than ’11. Slowed beef demand is influencing several beef markets lower. In May, US beef exports fell 12.6% versus ’11 while US beef imports rose 22% marking the best monthly net import gain since June ’10. Lean boneless beef imports from Australia are improving but US lean beef trim prices remain elevated due to curbed LFTB use. If the US dollar continues to appreciate it should encourage US beef imports and temper any pending lean beef trim price increases. US pasture conditions for cattle continue to deteriorate. This could further tighten cattle supplies in 2013.
Poultry: Chicken exports in May were up 5.8% versus last year. May chicken exports to Russia were the best since September. Solid Russian imports aren’t likely to persist as Russia’s domestic chicken output is expanding. Russia’s domestic chicken production has risen 62% since ’08. New spot market record highs were set for US feed costs this week. Elevated feed prices, if they endure, are expected to lead to a further slowdown in chicken production versus prior years. The price reaction by the chicken wing markets could be intense this fall and winter. Models are suggesting that the chicken wing markets will reach record high price levels later this year. The chicken breast markets usually move lower in the coming weeks.
Seafood: The US dollar continues to trade above year ago levels. As of this week the US dollar index was 12% higher than the same week a year ago. A better-valued US dollar has encouraged solid US seafood imports. If this upward trend for the dollar perseveres, most of the seafood markets may continue to track below ’11 levels this summer. Relatively engaging salmon prices are anticipated to endure throughout August.
Post Date: July 16, 2012
Beef, Veal & Lamb- Beef production last week was 1.6% less than the previous year. The choice boxed beef cutout has declined 3.8% from its high on June 15th due in part to seasonally weakening beef demand. Beef packers are now discounting steak cut products to encourage sales. Further beef middle meat price depreciation is anticipated during the next few weeks. Last week 50% of top 10 cattle producing states’ pastures were rated in poor to very poor condition. More cattle could be sent to slaughter earlier than planned. This could temper the expected beef production shortfall this summer and fall.
Prices for whole broiler/fryers are at least steady to fully steady in the East, steady to firm in the Midwest, and steady in the West. Majority prices in the Midwest are higher and in the West unchanged when compared to last week’s prices. Offerings are light to moderate for current trade needs. Demand is light to moderate, at times good into fast food in the Midwest as high temperatures start to subside. Floor stocks are balanced. Market activity is slow to moderate. In the parts structure, movement is light to moderate entering the week. Prices are firm for wings, steady to firm for breasts, and steady for dark meat cuts. Supplies of wings are light, breast items are light to moderate, and dark meat is available. Market activity is light to moderate. In production areas, live supplies are moderate. Weights are mixed, but mostly desirable to light.
Cheese prices were mostly unchanged for the holiday interrupted week. Trading activity at the CME Group was very light. The important news this week involved record hot, humid weather across much of the country. The Midwest and East both experienced extended record high temperatures. With milk solids already decreasing, now cheese plants are anticipating reductions in volume due to the weather. Rising prices since early May, have advanced cheese prices from 14-20 cents at the CME Group. Retail demand has been good, but higher prices have slowed export demand. Prices are higher but, well below year ago levels when monthly average prices for June 2011 at the CME Group were at $2.0483 for barrels and $2.0995 for blocks. The CME cash AA butter price held steady for most of the holiday week but firmed on Friday to settle at $1.5325. Churning schedules were enhanced at varying rates throughout the country as additional cream volumes became available due to the midweek holiday. A major storm in the Mid-Atlantic region of the East Coast caused extensive power outages that interrupted and shut down operations at numerous dairy facilities. The combination of the storm and holiday related shut downs decreased cream demand and increased cream volumes clearing to churns. Hot weather conditions are commonplace over the vast majority of the milk producing regions of the country. The conditions are causing milk production declines and drops in fat and protein levels of the milk. News reports are noting wide areas of the Eastern U.S. experienced periods without power and many remained without power. The power outages created quandaries for processors, suppliers, retailers and consumers. Processors in affected areas were struggling to handle milk and components to make products that require refrigeration down the marketing chains to retailers and consumers who did not have working appliances to keep the products.