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Fri. Oct 20, 2023

Foodmarket News Summary








ANALYSIS: Industry Egg Prices Stabilized in the EU

Over the past two years, egg processors in the EU have endured fluctuating costs of raw materials, influenced by significant external factors that disrupted the balance between shell egg supply and demand. However, despite this volatility, prices for broken eggs have remained relatively steady for eight consecutive months. Since mid-September, values have fluctuated only slightly, ranging between 1.52 and 1.65 €/kg.

The stability in egg prices can be attributed to several factors, including favorable supply conditions during the winter without any significant disruptions from avian influenza...

Full Story »
Apr 12 7:36 AM, Urner Barry



ANALYSIS: "Falling Feathers"- A Retreat in February's Chicken Export Volume...

February’s closing export tally primarily speaks to a contraction in total outward tonnage. Closing the month at 546.8 million pounds, one would have to venture all the way back to 2017 before coming across a lower seasonal figure. When compared with ’23, total volume retreated by 10.2%, or 62.3 million pounds. While the cumulative data almost speaks for itself, it is worth noting that the year-over-year (YoY) retreat in demand for U.S. chicken was not necessarily felt universally across all trade destinations...

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Apr 12 7:32 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Exports Tonnage: Greater Than What Meets the Eye

The turkey export figures were quite a sight to behold throughout the month of February. At 36.4 million pounds, total outward tonnage rose on a year-over-year (YoY) basis for the ninth consecutive month in a row. The most recent data gave way to a notable 46% advance from 2023. This was enough to position February’s closing figure at the highest seasonal level observed since 2021.

Total export value also realized a 20% uptick from the previous year. Although month-over-month (MoM) volume retreated by 0.07%...

Full Story »
Apr 11 8:15 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Raw Material Costs in the QSR Sector - Beef Versus Chicken

Fast food restaurants have garnered a lot of attention in recent months due to increasing menu prices.  We thought it would be worthwhile to examine the costs for different ingredients used by the sector, particularly focusing on raw protein materials required for staple menu items. 

For this analysis, we concentrate on hamburger formulations using a 75% lean point. Cost ratio values below one indicate that a hamburger made exclusively from domestic boneless beef provides greater economic value, while values above one suggest that alternative options...

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Apr 11 8:11 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Competitive Prices Drive Traffic; CPI Update

The coming weeks and months present favorable weather conditions for grilling and travel, considered supportive of protein sales from both a retail and foodservice standpoint. And with a few notable items displaying comparatively attractive prices, the retail sector is well positioned to capitalize on pent-up grilling demand.

Below, we’ll explore a few notable items featured near or below year-ago levels last week, when some households celebrated Easter.

First up is beef ribeye, which averaged $10.79 discounted, down $2.24, or 17.2% from a year ago. Beef...

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Apr 10 9:05 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Will Peeled Knuckles Hold Their Ground? Lean Beef Shortage Tests Seasonal Trends

Record-high prices of 90% boneless beef have had a massive impact on several items within the boxed beef complex. Perhaps none have felt the effect more so than the peeled knuckle. Choice peeled knuckles have witnessed the strongest seasonal pricing in history through April 8, at $3.60/lb. Just a quick glance at the above chart and it becomes quite clear that pricing has fallen right in line with the trend of 90% boneless beef....

Full Story »
Apr 10 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Australia's March Beef/Veal Exports Reach Highest Levels Since 2014, US Takes Top Spot

Australia’s beef/veal exports for March surged to levels not seen since 2014, up 7.7% y-o-y or up 7,595 mt to 106,573 mt, data from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (D.A.F.F) indicated. This also pointed to a consecutive monthly increase of 12,739 mt or 13.6% m-o-m. 

Notably, the US has taken over as the largest export destination for Australia, surpassing Japan, for the first time since 2015. The Monthly Australian Meat Export figures to...

 

Full Story »
Apr 10 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Exploring Factors Influencing the Turkey Market

Although market-swaying spot trade activity is off to a fairly uneventful start in April, there are no shortage of variables that are lingering on the minds of turkey market participants as we proceed into spring. At the top of the "figurative" list is HPAI, which has been slow to relinquish its grasp on the poultry (and egg) industry. Through the first three months of the year, commercial HPAI turkey cases advanced by about 50%, or 70 thousand birds, from the year prior...

 

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Apr 5 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


Analysis: Weekly Record High Volume in US Fresh Imported Lamb Product

According to the USDA’s latest National Weekly Lamb Carcass & Lamb Cuts report, the week of March 11th, 2024, experienced the highest weekly national imported volume of fresh lamb products to the US recorded since data collection began in 2005, totaling 4,424,235 pounds.

This represents a substantial increase, showing a 19.4% rise in the year-to-date total volume compared to this same period last year, and highlights a peak in demand activity as Easter 2024 approached. A significant portion...

 

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Apr 5 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

Although April’s initial canvassing efforts are slow to bring with them many market-swaying developments, buyers and sellers of chicken are far from kicking up their feet. In light of the multitude of “unknown” variables which range from consumer demand patterns to disease, industry market participants are opting to focus their attention on what still lies within their control: Supply. With this in mind, the Weekly Broiler Hatch Report is perhaps one of our best forward-facing production indicators and one which has garnered quite a lot of attention in recent weeks...

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Apr 5 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Frozen Pork Supplies Plummet to Monthly Record Lows

The latest USDA Pork Cold Storage Report reveals that frozen pork supplies reached record monthly lows in February. Stocks decreased by 1% from the previous month and declined by 12% compared to last year. The most significant declines were observed in boneless hams, boneless loins, ribs, trimmings, and bellies, which experienced month-over-month decreases.

This reduction in frozen stocks can be partly attributed to increased demand during the third and fourth quarters of 2023 from regions impacted by Prop 12, ahead of the January 1, 2024, deadline...

Full Story »
Apr 3 8:51 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: The April Outlook

The first inklings of planting season have made an appearance and with it comes the prospect of prolonged warmer weather. April typically launches a period of improved foodservice and retail demand as the shift in seasons encourages consumers to venture outdoors and fire up the grill. Moreover, spring break is underway, giving a boost to foodservice interest.

With spring in full swing, feature volume will begin to shift from roasts, popular with cooler weather cooking, to grilling cuts. Currently, the pork category overtakes seafood for a second consecutive week with the most feature volume...

Full Story »
Apr 3 7:05 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Inside Skirts Defy Seaonality, Hitting Record Highs

The beef markets have become a bit stale as of late but there continues to be some outsized moves going slightly under the radar. One of which, the Certified Angus Beef® Inside Skirts, just posted new all-time highs at nearly $8.12/lb. This may have some on the buyside scratching their heads a bit given the date on the calendar. But when you consider slaughter and production levels, this does not seem surprising anymore, as it seems there is interest in getting ahead of the much-anticipated seasonal rally...

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Mar 29 10:56 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Chicken Cold Storage: A February Thaw

The latest chicken Cold Storage reading closely coincides with the generally constricted supply state observed across much of the market recently. Total inventories through the end of February retreated on a year-over-year (YoY) basis by 9%. This equates to a 77.7 million-pound reduction, while also marking the seventh consecutive month of yearly decreases. The comparative month-over-month (MoM) data also brought with it a significant 5%, or 41 million pound, downturn in public warehouse holdings. Although this scenario does generally align...

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Mar 29 8:04 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Inventories: Frostbite, or Ready to Take Flight?

Although the turkey marketing backdrop has been relatively sedate leading up to Easter, industry players still have quite a lot to mull over as we fast approach Q2. One report which has garnered attention recently is February’s Cold Storage assessment..

As depicted by this week’s chart, month-over-month (MoM) movement of most key lines kept closely with the established seasonal trend. Comparative yearly figures, however, were a mixed bag; ranging as high as 98% above, to as low as 15% below, 2023.

Starting with the cumulative data, total inward movement...

Full Story »
Mar 28 9:23 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Urner Barry’s Cage-Free Quote Sees Volatile Start since January Launch

Though still in its early stages, Urner Barry’s rest-of-market (NE, MW, SE, SC) cage-free large shell egg quotation has already encountered considerable pressure since launching at the beginning of 2024. From mid-January to early February, this pressure was predominantly positive—partly because the New Year also marked the start of cage-free legislative mandates in the Northwest, which bolstered demand in that region. With local production insufficient to cover orders, suppliers turned to the spot market for eggs sourced from other regions...

Full Story »
Mar 28 9:19 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Cattle Futures Plummet to Multi-Month Lows on Market Uncertainty

Live cattle and feeder futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) have been under significant selling pressure in recent sessions, weighed in part by bearish USDA data and market uncertainty following the detection of bird flu in dairy cattle.

The cattle complex rounded out last week in lower territory ahead of the monthly USDA cattle-on-feed report. Analysts participating in the Urner Barry survey anticipated a 6.3% year-over-year increase in February placements following a sharp decline the previous month...

Full Story »
Mar 28 9:16 AM, Urner Barry


Mintec's 2024 US Easter Index

Mintec’s US Easter Index measures price fluctuations across key food commodities that are typically consumed in the US during the Easter period. The US Easter Index compares the commodities’ prices in March 2024 against March 2023 to determine whether consumers will be hypothetically better or worse off this Easter. The Index is comprised of three sub-indices: the US Easter Protein Index represents a selection of meats, fish and eggs that will typically be eaten as part of a main Easter dinner; the US Easter Chocolate Index compares the main...

 

Full Story »
Mar 28 8:03 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Easter Features Breakdown 

A March Easter is approaching—an occurrence not seen since 2016. Circulars are flush with holiday and springtime themes as grocers take full advantage of the upcoming weekend. 

Pork feature volume rose through the ranks and earned the top spot of protein feature volume this week with 29% of ad space. Seafood eased to 25%, down from 32% last week. Lent ends tomorrow at sundown, meaning observers can soon indulge in meat on Fridays again. 

Beef has 20% of retail activity while chicken features comprise 11% of protein ad volume. Turkey features more...

Full Story »
Mar 27 8:15 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Brazilian Beef Export Situation Update

Last week, the Brazilian beef export market exhibited cautious activity, with market participants closely watching reactions to the newly approved meat processing plants for exports to China. Despite an increase in supply options, buyers leveraged the situation to negotiate prices, while some sellers maintained their previous week’s rates. The result was a market finding a middle ground, with most traded items maintaining steady or slightly lower prices than the week before.

The supply-demand dynamic appears stable, as buyers, reportedly well-stocked, showed no urgency in closing deals...

Full Story »
Mar 26 8:56 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: High Whole EU Egg Prices Leave Little Room For Movement Ahead of Easter

Historically, the pre-Easter period in Europe has been a peak time for the egg industry, characterized by rising prices leading up to the extended holiday weekend. However, this year, the uptick has been comparatively subdued, with minimal deviation observed from the 2024 trendline. Over the past five years, cage liquid whole egg values have reached an average Easter peak of 1.76 €/kg, reflecting a 22.4% increase from the Q1 five-year average low. This year, the price increase has been more restrained...

Full Story »
Mar 26 8:51 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: The Widening Price Spread Between Boneless Chicken Breasts and Tenders

Given the volatile, and generally bullish-leaning market dynamics within the chicken complex recently, buyers and sellers certainly have a lot to consider as we usher in the springtime months. In addition to widespread supply constrictions, light live weights, and the ongoing threat of multiple diseases, the ever-shifting price relationship between various items on the sheet has introduced some additional room for speculation. Perhaps one of the more obvious examples of the changing market landscape is the relatively narrow, albeit expanding, delta between jumbo boneless breast and tender...

Full Story »
Mar 22 11:37 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Hatching Plans to Combat Future Uncertainty

Anyone intimately involved in the turkey industry has most likely had their eyes on the hatchery data to start the year. Substantial reductions in all three major categories, Eggs In Incubators, Eggs Hatched and Net Poults Placed have taken place over the past few months which leads many to question what exactly is causing the downtrend. The answer though, may not be as simple as it once was. Traditionally speaking, when hatchery statistics move notably higher or lower, it comes as a concerted effort by the industry to better align with current and...

Full Story »
Mar 21 8:24 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: 2024 Annual Power of Meat Study Recap

The 2024 Power of Meat Study was revealed at the Annual Meat Conference in Nashville, Tennessee this week. Anne-Marie Roerink, Principal at 210 Analytics, presented the findings and identified the trends currently shaping the retail meat sector.

This year’s report found that the number of Americans who describe themselves as meat eaters (80%) and the number of households that purchase meat (98%) were unchanged from 2023. Circana data indicates that overall household penetration across all incomes, ethnicities, household sizes, and ages, averages above 97%...

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Mar 20 8:27 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: A Look at Steak Cuts That Are Soaring and Sinking in 2024

Through nearly the first quarter of the year, the steak cuts within the boxed beef market have traveled down strikingly different paths. While there are several factors impacting the market, there are a handful of key standouts that have impacted some popular cuts as we near the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Let’s start with ribs and tenderloins. These items saw the bulk of seasonal discounting early in the year. Winter storms swept across the nation in January and those helped provide a floor and...

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Mar 20 8:18 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: The Surge in Boneless Beef Imports Amidst Constrained U.S. Herd

The UB Beef Trimmings, 90% Fresh Chemical Lean quotation reached a record weighted average high of $333.25 per hundredweight on March 18, 2024. Meanwhile, according to the USDA’s latest Semi-Annual Cattle Inventory report, the number of beef cows were reported at 28.2 million head, the lowest level since 1961.

With constrained availability of cows in the domestic market and record high pricing for lean trim, end users look to alternatives to satisfy demand.  They have done so quite successfully through imported boneless beef...

 

Full Story »
Mar 20 8:13 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Cattle Weights Resume Contra-Seasonal Gains Following Brief Stall

Cattle weights have resumed their contra-seasonal move higher following a brief stall, putting market participants on high alert. 

A string of winter storms and muddy pen conditions impacted cattle performance towards the start of 2024. Dressed steer weights shed 30 pounds during January, hitting a year-to-date bottom at 909 pounds during the week ending February 3. 

Dynamics in the cattle market have shifted in recent weeks with weights now displaying a contra-seasonal increase, reversing the declining trend seen since the start...

 

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Mar 18 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: January Chicken Exports Off to a Strong Start

Although it may not be immediately evident based solely on the data, chicken export movement kicked off the year with quite a bang. Despite a 3.4%, or 21.6 million pound, year-over-year (YoY) reduction in total outward tonnage, January’s closing tally of 608.7 million pounds, was enough to position seasonal export figures at the third highest level realized in three decades.

Much like the annual comparisons, the month-over-month (MoM) figures also brought with them a modest reduction of 3.4%, or 21.6 million pounds...

Full Story »
Mar 15 8:10 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: South American Beef Exporters Diversifying Beyond China In 2024

As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2024, a subtle yet discernible trend is emerging among major South American beef exporters, particularly Brazil and Uruguay. These countries are showing a tendency towards exploring attractive markets for their beef exports. This strategy doesn't signify a major shift away from China, remaining as the world's largest beef consumer, but rather an adaptive response to diversify their export destinations.

This trend becomes evident when analyzing the beef export data up to February 2024 (frozen, fresh or chilled)...

Full Story »
Mar 15 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Seeing Green

Grocers and foodservice establishments alike are seeing green ahead of what is expected to be a record-setting St. Patrick’s Day for spending.

According to an annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics with the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend an average of $44.40 per person on the holiday coming up on Sunday, March 17th, amounting to a record $7.2 billion in collective spendingup from $6.9 billion in 2023. 

The top spending categories are food and beveragessláinte! And with the holiday falling on a weekend this year...

Full Story »
Mar 13 8:36 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: South American Beef Exporters Diversifying Beyond China In 2024

As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2024, a subtle yet discernible trend is emerging among major South American beef exporters, particularly Brazil and Uruguay. These countries are showing a tendency towards exploring attractive markets for their beef exports. This strategy doesn't signify a major shift away from China, remaining as the world's largest beef consumer, but rather an adaptive response to diversify their export destinations.

This trend becomes evident when analyzing the beef export data up to February 2024 (frozen, fresh or chilled)...

Full Story »
Mar 12 7:47 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Beef 50s and Pork 42s Take Diverging Paths

Over the past decade, fresh beef 50s and pork 42s have generally followed a corresponding trend in pricing. The two items can be used interchangeably for processed products like hot dogs and sausage, with preferences among the processors for the materials sometimes boiling down to cost. 

Fresh beef 50s have historically maintained a premium over pork 42s with recent exceptions observed in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, accelerated export interest, modestly reduced domestic production, conversion line issues, and retail interest for pork sausage supported the value of 42s, making them...

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Mar 8 8:17 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Prudent Buying Takes Hold in Boxed Beef Market as Risk Premiums Limit Forward Bookings

Through just over two months, the USDA’s Weekly 22-90 Forward Delivery Period report has showcased a significant dip in load counts when compared to recent years. For example, compared to last year, the load counts are down by 7.4% and counts are also approximately 20-percent below the five-year average.

Sellers have played an aggressive hand with pricing out front particularly in February as uncertainty continues to mount, the aggressiveness comes amid a margin battle as packers battle rising...

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Mar 8 8:12 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Headwinds at the Broiler Hatchery

If there is one resounding theme which has been glaringly apparent throughout our market canvassing efforts recently, it is the fact that there is an underlying lack of chicken production making the rounds. While the call from traditional purchasing channels remains consistent, spot outreach efforts themselves aren’t necessarily any stronger than what historic seasonality would suggest here in early March. As touched on in last week’s analysis, year-over-year (YoY) reductions in frozen inventory levels, along with lighter-than-anticipated live weights, and a 3% dip in cumulative headcount when...

Full Story »
Mar 8 7:57 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Deciphering Ground Chuck Retail Prices in Today's Market

On a year-over-year basis, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached its COVID-era peak registering at 9.1% in June 2022. Although it has since moderated, the latest data from the USDA reveals that U.S. consumers are allocating the largest proportion of their disposable income to food since 1991, with 11.3% spent in 2022.

This heightened focus on food prices prompts a closer look at discounted Ground Chuck pricing at retail outlets. To conduct a comprehensive analysis, Circana's pricing data was adjusted to account for inflation...

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Mar 6 8:08 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Hopping Towards the Holiday

Seafood maintains its lion’s share of total feature volume with 37% this week, up from 28.6% the week prior. At present, 42% of seafood features stem from the fresh/frozen fillet category as retailers look to capture sales from Lent observers.

Tilapia and salmon have the greatest percentages of feature volume within the fillet category. With prices comparable to or below year-ago levels, retailers were keen to give the two species a larger chunk of circular real estate.

Fresh salmon, the top seller within the finfish category last week, retailed at...

Full Story »
Mar 6 7:10 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Strong Quality Grade, Demand Lull, Dampens Certified Angus Beef® Rib Prices

A lull in demand and an over-performing quality grade have led to a lackluster situation within the Certified Angus Beef® (CAB) rib primal. Both bone-in and boneless product are stuck below year-ago levels. Urner Barry’s CAB Lip-On UP quote is currently listed at $10.75/lb., about 2% below this time last year. The prices have also plummeted about 17% year-to-date but sit about 18% higher than the five-year average...

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Mar 5 8:38 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Egg Market Faces Shifting Dynamics and Challenges as Easter Approaches

With the arrival of March and the looming Easter season, observations from sources nationwide suggest modest improvements in retail orders late week. Even though elevated shelf prices are tempering current retail clearance rates to some extent, several large-scale grocers are taking steps to bolster their inventory positions in preparation for heightened holiday demand. Suppliers suspect they may also be seeing some additional lift late this week from the start of the new month, which traditionally injects additional funds back into consumers’ pockets, contributing to an uptick in retail...

Full Story »
Mar 1 11:06 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Assessing January's Freeze in Latest Turkey Cold Storage Report

While day-to-day spot market developments have been fairly limited here in late February, turkey market participants still have plenty on their minds. In addition to the ongoing threat of disease and its impact on production and export throughput, the recently released Cold Storage Report has raised a couple of eyebrows. The latest reading through the end of January brought with it a 4%, or 12.5 million pound, year-over-year (YoY) uptick in total warehouse inventories. Coming in at 302.1 million pounds, January’s closing tally hit the highest...

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Mar 1 8:08 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: January's Cold Storage Movement Maintains Seasonally-Enhanced Stride

The most recent Cold Storage figures help to confirm some of the supply-side indications which have remained evident throughout our canvassing efforts over the past month. Coming in at 831.6 million pounds, total frozen warehouse stocks through the end of December retreated on a year-over-year (YoY) basis by 6.5%, or 57.9 million pounds. This closely coincides with the weekly slaughter data where early-year holiday and weather-related plant downtime contributed to significant reductions in overall production.

When compared with December, outward movement came in 5%...

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Mar 1 8:06 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Shifting Market Dynamics Alter Trend Between Cattle and Corn Prices

Cash corn and cattle prices followed a comparable track over the past ten years. However, that tandem trend began to change starting in 2022 due to significant shifts in market dynamics for both commodities.

Omaha, US No 2 Yellow Corn prices peaked at $8.43 per bushel in June 2022, closely challenging the record hit in 2012. The rise in corn prices that year was driven in part by supply disruptions created by the Russia-Ukraine war, as Ukraine is a major supplier of grains to the world markets...

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Feb 28 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Plenty to Munch on in March

Baseball, basketball, briskets, and the list goes on! Retailers have their sights set on spring demand with March just around the corner. Next month brings several buying opportunities and a refresh for the retail food landscape following the February slump.

Just a little over two weeks out is St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. Bar and foodservice establishments are expected to benefit from patrons out and about for the holiday, which falls on a weekend this year.

Consumers in the U.S. also celebrate the holiday with corned beef, which is made...

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Feb 28 7:50 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Inside Rounds Witness Post-Valentine's Bump to Highest February Price in Decades

Inside rounds have become one of the highlights within the boxed beef market during what is typically a seasonally dull period. The strength comes after what was a tremendous fall in pricing to end 2023. In October of last year, inside rounds reached a peak of $3.63/lb., before dipping all the way to $2.63/lb. at the onset of 2024. As of February 22, inside rounds sit at $3.18/lb., the highest level seen in the month February since...

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Feb 26 9:33 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Lighter Cattle Weights and Reduced Output Pull YTD Beef Production Lower

The impact of last month’s winter storms across the U.S. is illustrated in average cattle weights, which have dropped precipitously since the start of the year.

The latest USDA data indicated dressed steer weights at 909 pounds, up 1 pound from last year but 3 pounds below the week prior. Steer weights started the year at 937 pounds, a seasonal all-time high. Average dressed heifer weights were reported at 827 pounds, up 2 pounds from the week prior but 6 pounds under 2023 and down 24...

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Feb 22 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: A Seasonal Snapshot of Christmas and Easter's Boost to Lamb Leg Sales

As Easter approaches, the demand for lamb legs in retail stores noticeably rises, spurred by holiday traditions. Consumers, particularly those of the Catholic faith, often buy lamb legs for Easter as a symbol of renewal. Similarly, lamb is a popular choice during Christmas for some households. This trend leads to a significant uptick in both discounted and non-discounted sales at the retail level, highlighting the cultural impact of these occasions on the protein markets. To meet this surge in demand, suppliers and retailers diligently ensure an...

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Feb 21 8:21 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: A Closer Look at Formula vs. Negotiated Sales in the Boneless Beef Segment

In the domestic boneless beef sector, it is widely acknowledged that a significant volume of trade is conducted through formula pricing agreements. This analysis delves into this phenomenon, utilizing the volume reported by the USDA of fresh 50% lean trim as an example.

The chart above illustrates that, for the week ending 2/16/2024, 86.57% of the fresh 50% lean trim traded was priced through formulated agreements. To break this down, out of the total trade volume of 19.28M lbs.,16.69M lbs...

 

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Feb 21 8:16 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: UK Beef Fillet and Sirloin Prices Firm as Cattle Tightens

The fillets and sirloin markets continue to experience upwards pricing pressure since the beginning of the year. The largest contributing factor is thin inventories due to a tight cattle supply.

While foodservice suffered a lacklustre start of year as the ongoing cost of living pressures discourage consumers from dining out, demand from the retail sector remains strong.

Markets for PGI & UTM sirloins have been moving higher over the last four weeks. UTM whole striploins are seeing some trades at values as...

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Feb 21 8:10 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Finalizing February’s Features

Retailers are finalizing their February features while actively preparing for spring demand, which is bolstered by seasonal factors like warmer weather along with holidays including St. Patrick’s Day and Easter.

Retail features are shifting from red meat and poultry towards seafood as Lenten observers begin the 40 days of fasting and reduced meat consumption. 

The seafood complex continues to hold the top spot within total protein features, accounting for 37% this week. Beef follows with 21% of retail buying opportunities, while pork closes in at 19%. Chicken claims almost 16% of ad space, nearly...

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Feb 21 7:55 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: December Chicken Export Volume Reaches New Seasonal Altitude

Judging by the year-end numbers, chicken export movement concluded 2023 under a relatively robust backdrop, especially when considering the ongoing global trade complications related to HPAI. At 645.2 million pounds, total outbound tonnage during December not only surpassed the previous year by 7.4%, or 66.1 million pounds, but also hit a record seasonal high.

The cumulative data, however, tells a slightly different story of how the year played out. Between January and December, total export volume retreated by 4.2% when compared with the previous year...

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Feb 16 11:12 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Hog Weights Decline but Remain at Seasonal All-Time Highs

Significant disruptions to pork production in January due to the New Year's holiday and a string of winter storms created a backlog of market-ready hog supplies and historically heavy hog weights. Average live weights for barrow and gilts in Iowa/Southern Minnesota started the year at 293.1 pounds, a seasonal all-time high and two pounds below the record high hit in May 2020.

Weights remain at seasonal record highs but have posted three consecutive weeks of declines, suggesting that producers are becoming increasingly... 

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Feb 15 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: December Turkey Exports Leave Room For Interpretation

While Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been slow to relinquish its ugly grasp on the turkey industry, December’s ending export figures didn’t deviate too far from the established seasonal course.

As 2023 came to a close, total outbound volume hit 42.1 million pounds. So what does this mean for market participants? Sentiment is highly dependent on one’s vantage point. On one hand, December’s export tally marks a significant 43.1% advance when compared to the year prior. On the opposite hand, it is important to bear in mind that 2022’s sweeping...

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Feb 15 6:28 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: January's Shifting Trends in Brazilian Beef Export Dynamics

The recently released  Brazilian export data for January unveiled significant shifts in the beef market, signaling a slightly broader diversification of Brazilian beef export destinations early this year.

While China remains the dominant player, its share saw a slight decline, as frozen boneless beef exports to China dropped by 11.8% from the same time of last year, amounting to a massive volume of 96,329 metric tons (MT) compared to 98,857 MT for the previous January, aligned with a 9.49% reduction in the average price per MT. This decline in prices reflects...

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Feb 15 6:22 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Fresh Beef At Retail Sees Slight Dip to Begin Year

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Meat Price Spreads report indicated that beef prices at the retail level remain at elevated levels, despite coming down slightly from the all-time highs seen during the fall of 2023.

As of January 2024, the all-fresh beef retail value sat at $7.81/lb., just 1.63% below the all-time high mark of $7.94/lb. seen in October 2023. Beef remains the priciest option in the meat case when compared to pork and chicken...

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Feb 14 8:42 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Surf and Turf Promotions for Valentine's Day

It's Cupid's Day and love is in the air for the foodservice sector as consumers celebrate with an evening out and a special meal.

Following the Super Bowl craze, the balance of this month is generally lackluster for retail. However, increased demand for premium cuts of meat and seafood helps to lift overall protein sales, especially for restaurants and fine dining establishments.

Various restaurant chains were showcasing Valentine's Day promotions last weekend and continue to offer special deals for the upcoming weekend including prix fixe menus for two.

Consumers planning...

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Feb 14 6:30 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: US Egg Prices Reach Record February Highs Amid Strong Retail Demand, Supply Constraints

The latest reports from suppliers across the country indicate that retail demand for eggs remains strong, persisting well beyond the initial surge attributed to a string of snowstorms that blanketed the nation in January. While inclement weather may have contributed to increased consumption at the outset, the continuation of high demand suggests that other factors are also at play. One of those factors is undoubtedly the strategic use of eggs as a loss leader by large grocery chains and hypermarkets...

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Feb 9 7:54 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Honing Chicken Production Expectations

As we inch closer toward mid-Q1 and with springtime just over a month away, chicken market participants have quite a lot to think about when it comes to the road ahead. While factors such as disease, export volume, cold storage, and consumer spending habits are among several topics “du jour”, production and supply expectations are also top of mind for many. One report which provides some insight into the future supply potential of the chicken industry is the USDA’s Weekly Broiler Hatch Report. As our chart illustrates, year-over-year (YoY)...

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Feb 9 7:50 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Navigating Uncertain Terrain in a Dynamic Turkey Market

Although the turkey trade environment is off to a relatively quiet start here in February, there is no shortage of factors which are capturing the attention and consideration of market participants. In addition to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding disease and its impact on both supply and export throughput, feed costs remain top of mind for those on the grow out side of the business.

As our chart illustrates, the average value of Omaha No.2 yellow corn, a key component in poultry feed, stood at $4.64/bushel in January...

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Feb 8 8:13 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Assessing the Price Disparity Between Domestic and Imported Lean Trimmings

Over the past two years, the lean trim market has witnessed a notable disparity in pricing between domestic and imported lean, as well as end cuts, including top rounds. In the graph above, 2022 appears relatively stable, contrasting sharply with the substantial gaps observed in 2023. In 2022, the highlighted items moved in tandem, particularly in June and November, facilitating straightforward formulations. However, 2023 introduced significant price spreads, reaching the peak in the fall when domestic 90% fresh chemical lean (CL) commanded a $.67/lb...

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Feb 7 8:41 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Chicken Wings: Market Playbook 2024

Football season is heating up as fans eagerly watch to see what team will come out of Superbowl LVIII victorious. But for chicken market participants and industry observers, the big game isn’t the only thing on the radar at the moment. For many, football season is synonymous with “wing season” However, as this week’s chart illustrates, jumbo whole wing values and market trends have been all over the field over the past several years.

2021, for instance, carried values to $3.22/lb. which not only marked a new all-time-high...

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Feb 7 8:39 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Can the Momentum Continue for Beef Cheek Meat as Prices Soar?

As participants within the beef markets continue to seek out cheaper alternatives to some higher priced boxed beef cuts, one beneficiary has been beef cheek meat. A versatile item that can be used for an extensive list of eating experiences. As consumers continue to feel the bite of inflationary pressures, buyers within the market are seeking out more price palatable items. Urner Barry’s Beef cheek meat price has come into 2024 at the strongest level on record at $2.67/lb. on January...

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Feb 7 8:35 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Super Sunday Promotions 

The Super Bowl ranks as the second biggest eating occasion of the year, behind Thanksgiving. To prepare for this weekend's celebrations, circulars are brimming with promotions on items like finger foods, party trays, and beverages ahead of the showdown between Kansas City and San Francisco. 

The National Chicken Council (NCC) projects chicken wing consumption for Super Bowl LVIII at 1.45 billion wings, unchanged from last year's record level. Americans are more likely to prefer eating bone-in wings (53%) than boneless wings, based on the NCC’s survey findings.

Urner Barry's jumbo wing values...

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Feb 7 7:19 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Assessing Premium Grade Spread; Typical Seasonality or a Shift in Demand?

With nearly a month behind us in 2024, choice and select graded boneless ribs have traveled down differing paths to start the year. Ribs typically begin every January facing downward pressure as holiday demand dwindles and consumers focus on lower-priced beef items like ground beef and roasting cuts. That story held true for Choice ribs with Urner Barry’s Choice Lip-on Boneless Rib Down quote falling roughly 12 percent from the start of 2024 through January 30 from $11.74/lb. to...

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Feb 1 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Touching Down on Super Bowl Spending

The retail sector is touching down on the first major retail food-buying occasion of the year—the Super Bowl. The game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will take place on Sunday, February 11th and grocers have plenty to celebrate ahead of what could be a record-smashing milestone for sales.

A record 200.5 million viewers are expected to tune in to Super Sunday, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Collective spending on food, drinks, apparel, decorations, and other purchases could hit $17.3 billion, also...

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Jan 31 7:00 AM, UB Newswires


Analysis: Elevated Pork Cutout Values Amidst Supply Disruptions in January

The average weekly Urner Barry pork cutout value currently stands at about $88.1/cwt for last week, reflecting a 7.9% increase compared to the same period last year. This marks the second-highest level for this week in January historically since data collection commenced in 2003; with the only higher value recorded being in 2022 largely due to labor challenges stemming from the pandemic.

The recent uptick in cutout value is primarily linked to holiday downtime around production schedules and extensive disruptions from winter weather across the US...

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Jan 30 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Stiff Competition for Lean

In conversations with cow packers across the country, a re-occurring topic of discussion is diminishing margins as they contend with higher prices to compete for animals in short supply. This sentiment is reinforced by the graph below, highlighting the USDA Weekly National Dressed Direct Cow Market (all weights), which soared to a record high of $225.19/cwt in August 2023 and has remained elevated since.

Despite the historic surge in cow pricing, the available supply continues to contract. As of the week of January 15, cow and bull slaughter declined over 16%...

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Jan 26 9:53 AM, Urner Barry


Analysis: A Closer look at UK Beef Production, Consumption and Prices

The volume of beef produced in the UK in 2023 was 817 000 MT, 2.5% down from the previous year. This was on the back of a 1.3% decline in prime slaughter numbers. Cows also dropped by 2.5% and totalled 612 000 heads.

Market participants have cited that adverse wet weather conditions caused flooding and wider disruption during the month of December may have had an impact on throughputs. On the other hand, domestic consumption data from the USDA shows that UK beef consumption in 2023...

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Jan 25 8:02 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Packing on the Protein

The retail space is packing on the protein as grocers promote healthy eating campaigns and hearty options like roasts during the wintry woes endured by much of the country in recent weeks.

For the second week in a row, seafood features take the top spot with 30.7% of retail buying opportunities. Pork climbed to second place with 23.7% of ad space, followed by beef with 20.4%. Chicken feature volume stands at 19% this week, up two points from the week prior. Turkey saw a slight decrease to 3.7% while eggs held...

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Jan 24 7:55 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Weather, Seasonal Demand Providing Momentum for Outside Rounds in 2024

To begin the year, outside rounds have witnessed noticeable strength, with pricing moving higher in rapid fashion. Urner Barry’s Choice Outside Round quote began the year at $2.75/lb., just slightly below levels seen at the start of 2023. However, the item has jumped by over 28 percent to $3.53/lb. in less than three weeks. As of January 15, outside rounds are 19 percent above the 3-year average.

To put this in perspective, the last time outside rounds were a...

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Jan 19 11:09 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Unraveling Turkey Production Dynamics

With the late Q4 and early Q1 holidays now in the rearview mirror, turkey market participants are rolling up their sleeves and are ready to get down to business. Given the turkey market’s choppy and somewhat unpredictable past, buyers and sellers alike are paying particularly close attention to the forward-facing production stats as they attempt to hone their expectations for the uncertain road ahead.

At the risk of being overly obvious, disease-related complications remain top of mind for most participants as HPAI has been slow to relinquish its ugly grasp from much of...

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Jan 19 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Consumer Sentiment Rises at Year's End

Consumer sentiment spiked at the tail end of 2023, boosted by improved viewpoints of inflation in the new year. According to the University of Michigan’s (U-M) Survey of Consumers, consumer sentiment climbed by 14% in December, reversing the declines from the previous four months.

All age, income, education, geographic, and political identification groups saw gains in sentiment in December, said U-M. The index is just shy of the midpoint between the pre-pandemic reading and the historic low hit in June 2022, added U-M.

The University of Michigan's...

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Jan 3 6:32 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Turkey Cold Storage: Frost Bite or Calculated Chill?

Although the turkey trade environment is relatively hushed coming out of the extended holiday weekend, there is no shortage of considerations for players and industry observers to mull over here at year’s end. One recent publication which has garnered quite a lot of attention is November’s Cold Storage Report.

The latest inventory assessment reveals a noteworthy 44%, or 140.3 million pound, year-over-year (YoY) leap in total tonnage. While upward movement has persisted throughout much of 2023, November's surge stands in stark contrast to the 8.8% average rise observed...

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Dec 29 8:02 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Cracking Trends: A Closer Look at the Broiler Hatchery

With 2024 right around the corner, chicken marketers are increasingly shifting their attention towards the road ahead. While seasonality does provide a general roadmap of the demand side of the equation, most players agree that production has been anything but an easy read lately. This scenario was evidenced in last week’s analysis which shined light on this year’s asymmetrical distribution of headcount by weight class.

One report which does provide some insight into the future production potential of the chicken industry is the Weekly Broiler Hatch...

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Dec 26 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


Mintec Releases "Christmas Dinner Index 2023" Report

Mintec's Christmas Dinner Index, which measures price fluctuations across key food commodities that make up a traditional Christmas dinner (main meal and dessert), increased by 2.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) in November 2023.

 Mintec enables the world's largest food and manufacturing brands to implement more efficient and sustainable procurement strategies. We do this through our cutting-edge SaaS platform, Mintec Analytics, which delivers market prices and analysis for thousands of commodities, food ingredients and associated materials. Our data and tools empower our customers to understand prices better, analyze their spend...

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Dec 22 7:58 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Market Landscape: A Year in Review

Although discussions pertaining to HPAI continue to dominate most turkey-related conversations, various other factors are also capturing the attention of industry participants as we fast approach the new year. Notably, those involved in turkey production are enjoying some price relief at the “silo”.

The key component in feed, Omaha No. 2 Yellow Corn, has exhibited a consistent year-over-year (YoY) downtrend in value over ten of the past twelve months. This has resulted in a year-to-date (YTD) average price of $4.23 / bushel which represents an 18.5% ...

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Dec 21 8:28 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Ham Features Increase for the Holidays

The countdown to Christmas is rapidly winding down and shoppers are busy stocking up on last-minute gifts and food for visiting family and holiday gatherings.

For the second week in a row, pork features claim the top spot among protein ads this week with 28.4%. Seafood follows with 25.7% of total protein ad volume, while beef comes in third at 20.5%. Chicken retail buying opportunities declined to 8%, compared to 13.8% the previous week. Turkey features advanced to 9.7%, up about four points from last week...

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Dec 20 7:30 AM, UB Newswires


Analysis: Current Trends in the Pork Butt Market

The ¼-inch bone-in butt market has experienced elevated price levels, with the weekly average price currently standing at $118.5/cwt. This price is comparable to levels observed in 2011 and 2014, during the PEDv outbreak, yet it remains slightly below the 2022 levels.

Currently, it ranks as the third-highest price historically recorded for this week in December. This trend can be primarily attributed to more active demand from South Korea compared to past years, despite the current pace of U.S. total pork production...

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Dec 18 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Eye of Rounds Move Sharply Lower Ahead of the Holidays

In recent weeks, the round complex has witnessed broad-based weakness and prices for multiple items within the category have moved sharply lower. Of the most notable, the choice eye of round has trimmed roughly 25 percent of its value since November 27 as supplies have simply outweighed demand. On November 27, choice eyes were $3.90/lb. Less than three weeks later, the item sits at $2.98/lb.

Now, this is not out of the norm for this time of the year...

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Dec 15 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Exports Start Q4 on a High Note

While recent outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in various states and counties have posed challenges to the international footprint of the turkey industry, export performance through the end of October demonstrated noteworthy resilience.

During this period, the total outbound movement reached 52.9 million pounds. This marks the highest seasonal level observed since 2020 and also reflects a 5.8% increase when compared to September. With that being said, it is worth noting that October's cumulative movement still lagged approximately 18 percentage...

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Dec 14 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Rib Roasts Continue to Rise

With the holidays rapidly approaching, one item on everyone’s radar has been export ribs or bone-in ribeyes. The holiday favorite has posted new all-time record highs for the month of December, with Urner Barry’s Choice quote sitting at $12.50/lb. This is about 9 percent higher than the previous all-time record high, which was recorded in 2022.

Bone-in ribeyes started their rally much earlier in the year when compared to previous years. This year’s rally began towards the end of July, where historically, procurement efforts would start up closer...

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Dec 13 9:11 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Thanksgiving Turkey Retail Prices Reported Higher Despite Wholesale Drop

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, Urner Barry is looking back at how this year’s retail Thanksgiving sales compared to recent years. 

According to Circana data, retail turkey prices on both a discounted and non-discounted basis have consistently trended higher in the past five years. Generally, distribution has also seen an uptrend in recent years. 

Distribution is a measure that reports the distribution of discounted and non-discounted items. It takes into account the number of Universal Product Codes (UPCs) selling within a given aggregate...

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Dec 13 7:11 AM, UB Newswires


Analysis: UK Beef Markets for Round Cuts Remain Seasonally Strong

Retail suppliers are beginning to see a slowdown in demand as wholesale buying for the holiday season subsides. While prime steaks continue to see brisk movements in the marketplace, they have lost some of the premiums we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks. Weakness was more prevalent on some fillets, ribs, and sirloins. PGI Chain off fillet traded at £27/Kilo on the top side of the market, down from the previous week’s £30/Kilo.

With the arrival of winter, markets for cold-weather cuts including topside...

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Dec 6 8:20 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Season’s Gr-eatings

Season’s gr-eatings! The holiday season of spending is underway, giving rise to retail sales and food purchases.

This year’s holiday spending has already made history. A record 200.4 million shoppers stepped out over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Consumers shopped both online and in-store throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, with 121.4 million people visiting physical retail locations to browse and make in-store purchases—consistent with 2022. Online shoppers totaled 134.2 million, up by four million...

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Dec 6 6:09 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Turkey Cold Storage: Less Than What Meets the Eye

The recently released October 31 Cold Storage Report paints a familiar seasonal picture to much of the turkey complex. At the same time, the latest data illuminates the stark contrast between this year's inventory levels and the record lows realized back in 2022.

October’s closing tally reveals a total of 319.7 million pounds of turkey in public warehouses. When pitted against last year, frozen stocks rose by just shy of 13%. Conversely, outward monthly movement kept closely in line with seasonal expectations, dropping 24.1% below...

 

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Dec 1 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


Mintec Releases "Thanksgiving Dinner Index 2023" Report; Read It Here

Mintec enables the world's largest food and manufacturing brands to implement more efficient and sustainable procurement strategies. We do this through our cutting-edge SaaS platform, Mintec Analytics, which delivers market prices and analysis for thousands of commodities, food ingredients and associated materials. Our data and tools empower our customers to understand prices better, analyze their spend and negotiate with confidence.

Mintec’s latest report, “Thanksgiving Dinner Index 2023,” is a look at the components that make up the traditional holiday dinner...

Full Story »
Nov 22 9:29 AM, Urner Barry


Urner Barry’s Market Briefing Provides Insights on Commodity Protein Markets

Urner Barry is the leading provider of protein market news and information in the food industry. Through daily canvasses of the trade and an unrivaled historical database, our analysts are uniquely positioned to report on the underlying conditions and significant disruptors to the market. In this Market Briefing, Urner Barry reporters outline the latest action in the commodity protein markets, highlighting seasonal factors, disruptors, and current supply and demand fundamentals.

Click HERE to view the latest report...

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Nov 16 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: 2023 Thanksgiving Outlook

Thanksgiving is just one week out and grocers are bracing for a busy weekend ahead as shoppers secure any remaining needs for the holiday feast. Below, we have the latest outlook on what Turkey Day 2023 may bring.

The Star of the Show 

Shoppers this Thanksgiving may breathe a sigh of relief when looking at prices for the big bird. Last year, households shelled out more money for their turkeys due to factors including highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) complications, low cold storage holdings, and inflation.

A lull in bird flu detections following the initial outbreak...

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Nov 15 7:50 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: A Turkey Production Puzzle

Given the recent resurgence in commercial HPAI cases, turkey market participants are keeping an eye trained to the sky and the other eye glued to the charts as they speculate about potential impacts that the disease could have on the spot market landscape.

Between the first outbreak in Q4, which was reported on October 4th, and the latest case reported on November 3rd, a total of 992,600 commercial turkeys have been impacted by the disease; the majority of which were being raised for next year's meat requirements...

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Nov 9 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Strong Retail Demand, Bird Flu Outbreak Send Egg Prices Soaring to Seven-Month Highs

After more than five weeks of no change, the shell-egg market began its seasonal ascent in the penultimate week of October, as it often does, on a combination of strengthening retail demand and mounting confidence in the lead-up to Thanksgiving. Days later, that upward momentum got kicked into overdrive, following reports that the bird flu had broken out on a commercial layer farm for the first time in eleven months.

High-path avian influenza began making a resurgence among commercial turkeY...

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Nov 9 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Tuning in to Holiday Turkey Features

For this week's retail rundown, we're tuning in to holiday turkey features as Thanksgiving inches closer. Grocers are making room for the big bird in their meat cases and freezers for the millions of turkeys that will be gobbled down in two weeks. 

Seafood maintains the top spot among protein ads with 23.8% of features this week. Turkey ads captured nearly 9% of protein features this week, up from 6.9% the previous week. Within the turkey complex, frozen whole turkey features account for 56.5% of features, up from 25% a week...

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Nov 8 7:00 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Chicken Cold Storage Concludes Q3 on Unlevel Ground

The most recent chicken cold storage inventory figures leave room for interpretation depending on the timeframe and item in question. Year-over-year (YoY) comparisons for September were somewhat choppy, while the month-over-month (MoM) data generally aligned with historical expectations for this period.

Total inventories dropped by 3.4%, or 29.6 million pounds from last year. Still, at 844.3 million pounds, overall chicken holdings maintained the sixth-highest seasonal level in nearly three decades. This is saying a lot, especially when considering the underlying lack of public warehouse vacancy...

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Oct 27 1:46 PM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Roast Features Heat Up as Temperatures Dip

An early-season snowstorm has arrived for portions of the Northwest, bringing accumulations of up to a foot in areas including Mondana and North Dakota. The system is forecast to spread into the North Plains by midweek, according to the National Weather Service.

A cold front will bring frigid temperatures southeastward towards the week's end, with single-digit temperatures possible for some regions. In contrast, much of the central and eastern U.S. is experiencing near or above-average temperatures this week...

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Oct 25 7:10 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Bacon's Market Journey Through 2023

According to the most recent data from Circana on COMTELL, as of October 15, 2023, the average price of non-discounted bacon across all U.S. foods was $6.66/lb. This figure was preceded two weeks prior by the highest price recorded this year, at $6.95/lb. In the period from January to May of 2023, supplies of bellies in cold storage saw an increase, attributed to lackluster interest in bacon from foodservice sectors during the first half of the year. However, a decline in both frozen and fresh belly supplies became evident...

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Oct 24 8:07 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Ribs Pushing Higher in Typical Seasonal Fashion – But Still Not at Recent Spreads

With beef production down 5.2 percent through October 13, product availability has become a large concern for high-quality middle meats, ribs and tenderloins in particular.

Market participants in the Certified Angus Beef and upper two-thirds arena are becoming much more proactive around procurement this year when it comes to these items. Last week Urner Barry reported full steady to firm tones in the CAB rib category, while tenderloins were the lone item in the loin complex to move higher on limited supplies and active...

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Oct 20 11:33 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Shank and Ribeye Pricing Trends in Mexican Export Market

As we enter the final quarter of the year, two specific cuts have begun to exhibit notable activity within the Mexican export market: shanks and ribeyes.

In 2023, the behavior of shanks has been rather atypical. While this cut traditionally experiences a seasonal price surge in the last quarter of the year, followed by a decline in February, this year has seen a more modest fluctuation. This deviation can be primarily attributed to the limited inventories in the U.S. boxed beef market and the concurrent surge in...

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Oct 20 11:03 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: A Birds Eye View of Conventional The Shell Egg Market Over the Back Half of 2023

The back half of 2023 has experienced something that we seldom seem to speak of anymore: steadiness. From May 26th through August 9th our Midwest Large benchmark quote went unchanged for 75 days which tied the all-time record which was initially set in 1990. Following this, over a stretch of 6 weeks prices increased from $1.28/dozen to a high of $1.74/dozen and then subsequently declined to $1.33/dozen over the succeeding 3 weeks...

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Oct 19 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Lackluster Beef Demand, Tight Cattle Market Impacting UK Beef Prices

Despite continued tightness in the cattle market, the decline in beef demand, largely due to inflation woes, counteracted the upward pressure on wholesale beef prices. Over the last three weeks, most items within the UK beef market have struggled to maintain the kind of premiums that were being traded earlier in September.

Markets for premium cuts including ribs and fillets were strong and while there were indications that processors were competing for thinner supplies, feedback on demand varied greatly from supplier to supplier..

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Oct 18 9:11 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Keeping a Watchful Eye on Bird Flu

The threat of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has resurfaced, with USDA reporting detections among commercial turkey flocks in South Dakota, Utah, and Minnesota earlier this month and again last week.

The fall migration of wild birds as they head south for winter could bring a new wave of infection, renewing concerns among market participants about the potential supply and trade implications of bird flu. The latest detections were on Friday, October 13, on two WOAH Non-Poultry operations located in North Dakota and Montana along with one commercial turkey...

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Oct 18 7:11 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Strips Falling Out of Favor

The 0x1 Strip Loin has seen some ups and downs this year, quite volatile ones to be fair – especially when compared to last year. Upon exiting Memorial Day, live cattle prices jumped nearly $5.00/cwt, prompting sellers to rapidly pull and replace offers significantly higher. This shot the 0x1 Strip to nearly $10.45/lb. by mid-June, roughly 21 percent higher than the same time last year.

Fast-forward to July, severe weakness kicked in, which is typical for this time period, the strip went on to lose approximately 22 percent in...

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Oct 6 8:58 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Mexican Domestic Prices Outperforming Exports

In recent weeks, the Mexican domestic market has exhibited a consistent firmness in its prices. As a result of decreased production and an uptick in cattle prices. Domestic market quotes have managed to maintain levels above the Mexican export market. This has prompted sellers to adopt a more analytical approach when exporting materials to the United States. 

We began to see this divergence in the beginning of the year due to exchange rates playing a more significant role. However, the increased demand in the domestic market became an additional factor driving up Mexican prices...

Full Story »
Oct 5 8:04 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Grocers Try to A-Maize Shoppers this October

October is abuzz with harvest activities and seasonal factors increasingly taking hold, including a transition to cooler weather cooking, particularly as chilly conditions begin to arrive for the West.

However, parts of the country are experiencing unusually warm weather so far this fall, with daily-record high temperatures recorded in areas of South Dakota and Indiana earlier this week.

This has allowed some consumers to extend the outdoor grilling season, considered supportive of meat sales. Moreover, protein consumption is benefitting from several demand drivers this month, including tailgating activities...

Full Story »
Oct 4 8:05 AM, UB Newswires







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