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Executive Conference: Jeff Saturday on Communication and Collaboration on and off the Field

It’s day one at Urner Barry’s 48th Annual Executive Conference at The Venetian in Las Vegas! Russ Whitman, Director of Market reporting, delivered the opening ceremony to a jam-packed room, where hundreds of industry stakeholders and analysts gathered to share their expertise and gain insights from today's speakers. 

Dr. David Kohl, Economist, kicked off the agenda with his panel titled: Agricultural Economics and Business Trends for the Late 2020s: What Is Coming Next? An Academic Hall of Famer in the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech...

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Apr 15 9:49 AM, UB Newswires

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...

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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%...

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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

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Confirmed in North Carolina Dairy Herd

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was detected in a dairy herd in North Carolina on April 10, bringing the number of states with confirmed cases of HPAI in livestock to seven. 

HPAI has previously been detected in nine dairy herds in Texas, three in Kansas, two in New Mexico, and one each in Michigan, Idaho, and Ohio. The movement of cattle from affected herds in these states to North Carolina has been suspended. 

“This is an evolving situation, and we are waiting for more diagnostics from NVSL and will work collaboratively with our federal partners and dairy farmers in North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler...

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Apr 11 7:07 AM, UB Newswires

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....

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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...


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Apr 10 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

Corn Planting Progress Slightly Outpacing Average Rate

In the USDA’s latest Crop Progress report, corn plantings as of Sunday, April 7 were 3% underway across the 18 primary production states. This is slightly behind the 5-year average rate of 2%. 

Seven states now report planting progress, up from six the previous week. North Carolina and Missouri/Tennessee showed the most week-over-week progress, jumping 8 and 5 percentage points, respectively. 

States failing to get on the board include Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Corn futures were down 1 to 2 cents...

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Apr 9 10:49 AM, UB Newswires

USDA’s APHIS Answers Questions on Detection of HPAI in Dairy Cattle

Following the recent string of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) detections in dairy herds in several states, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has answered some of the most frequently asked questions about the rapidly evolving situation.

As of Apil 3, 2024, six states have confirmed cases of HPAI in domestic livestock. The first confirmation was on March 25 in dairy milking cattle in Texas. Since then, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Idaho, and Ohio have also reported HPAI in dairy cattle herds.

Below are some of the questions...

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Apr 5 8:22 AM, UB Newswires

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...

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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...

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Apr 3 7:05 AM, UB Newswires

Initial Progress Reports Show Corn Plantings 2% Underway

Corn plantings for the week ending March 31 were 2% underway when averaging the 18 primary corn production states. This is slightly above the 5-year average by this time last year and is even with this week last year.

Texas is ahead of schedule, with 57% of its corn crop in the ground, compared to the 5-year average of 53%.

Plantings in Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee are each 2% underway. Meanwhile, 12 of the 18 primary production states have reported zero progress in plantings so far this year...

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Apr 2 8:07 AM, UB Newswires

State Officials Report Human Case of Bird Flu in Texas, Second Ever in U.S. History

State officials Monday reported the first human case of avian influenza A(H5N1) in Texas, marking the second-ever human case of H5N1 flu, or HPAI, in the United States and the first tied to exposure to cattle. 

The individual in Texas had been in direct contact with dairy cattle thought to be infected with avian influenza. The person, who had testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the weekend, exhibited eye inflammation as their only symptom and is being treated with the antiviral drug oseltamivir. The risk to the general public remains low, said the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)...

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Apr 2 8:00 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...

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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...

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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...

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Mar 28 9:16 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...

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Mar 27 8:15 AM, UB Newswires

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...

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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...

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Mar 22 11:37 AM, Urner Barry

Overnight Fire at National Beef Plant to Result in Late Start Today

A fire occurred overnight at a National Beef plant in Liberal, Kansas, located in Seward County.

In a Facebook post late Wednesday, the Liberal Police Department reported that a "large fire" was on the east side of the facility and advised individuals not to drive on East 8th Street near National Beef. Additional details will be provided as more information becomes available, added the Liberal Police Department...

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Mar 21 8:35 AM, UB Newswires

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...

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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

CDFA Announces New Proposition 12 Certifying Agent

The California Department of Food and Agriculture's (CDFA) Animal Care Program has announced NSF Certification LLC as its newest Proposition 12 certifying agent.

NSF Certification LLC is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is accredited to certify distributors. It will be extending its certification services nationwide within the United States, added the Animal Care Program. 

A complete list of accredited certifying agents can be found here. To date, there are eighteen private entities accredited as a certifying agent per Chapter 10 (commencing with section 1320) of Division 2 of Title 3 of the...

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Mar 20 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

CDFA Announces New Proposition 12 Certifying Agent

The California Department of Food and Agriculture's (CDFA) Animal Care Program has announced NSF Cerficiation LLC as its newest Proposition 12 certifying agent.

NSF Certification LLC is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is accredited to certify distributors. It will be extending its certification services nationwide within the United States, added the Animal Care Program. 

A complete list of accredited certifying agents can be found...

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Mar 19 1:39 PM, UB Newswires

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...

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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)...

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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...

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Mar 13 8:36 AM, UB Newswires

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...

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Mar 8 7:57 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Australia’s Beef Exports Continued to Rise Behind Higher Output, Strong Demand

Australia’s beef/veal exports for February continued to rise, nearing levels last seen in Feb 19, up 24% m-o-m or 18,249 mt to 93,834 mt, driven by higher country output and robust demand from Asia and the US, data from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (D.A.F.F) indicated.

The ongoing upward trajectory since the start of the year is also attributed to increased processing intensity, eased export restrictions with China, and rising cattle slaughter rates.

Notably, exports to Japan reached a 52-week high at 23,794 mt...

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Mar 7 9:34 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...

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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: 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

Missouri Prime Beef Packers to Close Processing Plant in April

In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice to the state Monday, Missouri Prime Beef Packers announced it will close its processing plant in Pleasant Hope, Missouri due to unforeseeable business circumstances.

The plant will close on April 26, 2024, resulting in the termination of 335 full-time employees. The bulk of layoffs will impact fabrication staff. The closure may be permanent or temporary, added yesterday's letter

Operations at the Missouri Prime plant officially started in March 2021. The 100,000-square-foot facility was...

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Feb 27 6:55 AM, UB Newswires

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

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

Mintec Completes Fourth IOSCO Accreditation for Proprietary Agrifood Prices

Mintec and leading brands, Urner Barry and Feedinfo complete the latest IOSCO accreditation for proprietary agri-food commodity prices.

Mintec has successfully completed an independent review of its proprietary food ingredient and agricultural commodity price assessment process for a fourth consecutive year. The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) review encompassed 66 assessments for the company as a whole (including owned brands Urner Barry and Feedinfo) across the agri-food supply chain. Mintec achieved 41 Type 2 and 25 Type 1 assurances across its...

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Feb 15 6:37 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

CDFA Issues New Proposition 12 Guidance Document on Certificates

The California Department of Agriculture's (CDFA) Animal Care Program has issued a new guidance document to aid stakeholders in distinguishing between the various certificates issued for Proposition 12 compliance.

Proposition 12 (2018) went fully into effect on January 1, 2024. The law prohibits the sale of shell eggs, liquid eggs, whole pork meat, or whole veal meat in California from animals that fail to comply with specific standards for freedom of movement, cage-free design, and specified minimum floor space. 

The Supreme Court upheld Proposition 12...

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Feb 12 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

Commercial Broiler Flock in Nebraska Tests Positive for Bird Flu

A commercial broiler flock of 102,000 birds in Gage County, Nebraska recently tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The detection was confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on February 6, marking the first outbreak in a commercial flock for the state since November 2022. 

Several small WOAH poultry and non-poultry operations in Nebraska were affected by HPAI between December 2022 and December 2023. 

“Nebraska hasn’t had any reported cases of HPAI for a few months so while we are disappointed, we are not surprised, to see another case...

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Feb 9 8:01 AM, UB Newswires

Canada Concerned That VCOOL Rule and Prop 12 Could Disrupt Supply Chains

Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay met with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in Washington D.C. last month to discuss strengthening agricultural ties between the two countries.

During their meeting, Minister MacAulay raised proposed changes in voluntary country-of-origin labeling (VCOOL) regulations for meat and livestock. These regulations along with California's Proposition 12 could restrict trade and disrupt supply chains, said the Minister. 

The USDA proposed a rule last March that allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on...

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Feb 8 9:26 AM, UB Newswires

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

UK Pork Producers Explore Export Opportunities to CA Amid Prop 12 Enforcement

British meat producers are exploring export opportunities to California after Proposition 12 went into full enforcement on January 1, 2024.

Proposition 12 originated as a ballot initiative in 2018 and was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision on May 11, 2023. The Californian law prohibits the sale of meat and eggs in the state that were raised under certain farming conditions.

Under the law, breeding pigs must have a minimum of 24 square feet of usable floor space per animal. Proposition 12 applies to...

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Feb 1 6:55 AM, UB Newswires

Scoular Expands Footprint in Kansas with Purchase of Three Grain Facilities

Scoular, an agribusiness that buys, sells, stores, handles and processes grain and ingredients, recently announced that it has acquired three grain handling facilities in central Kansas.

The facilities were purchased from Skyland Grain and will allow the company to more than double its storage capacity in the region. The acquisition will complement Scoular's shuttle-loading facility in Pratt, which the company has operated for more than a decade. 

Scoular will handle corn, wheat, soybeans, milo, and canola at the three newly acquired grain facilities. The grain...

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Jan 31 7:28 AM, UB Newswires

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

V&V Walsh Signs MOU With Chinese Supplier to Increase Beef and Lamb Exports

Exports of Western Australian grain-fed beef, lamb, and mutton are expected to increase thanks to a $40 million trading partnership memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by V&V Walsh with China’s High Hope Group.

V&V Walsh is Western Australia’s leading lamb and beef producer. The MOU signed with the High Hope Fresh Food division links V&V Walsh to end-users in the High Hope Group’s Jinling Hotel chain, which has 118 luxury hotels and resorts throughout China...

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Jan 30 10:21 AM, UB Newswires

WARN Notice Indicates Partial Layoff at Cargill's Nashville Plant

Cargill has filed a Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, notifying the agency of a layoff on March 15, 2024.

The notice, filed on January 24, will affect 111 workers at its “crumbles production” at Cargill’s plant in Nashville, Tennessee. The facility is located on Eugenia Ave and was acquired by Cargill in 2016. 

The employees at the facility are not represented by a collective bargaining agreement, added the notice.

The Northern Middle Local Workforce Development Area rapid response team...

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Jan 30 7:31 AM, UB Newswires

Tyson Officially Opens New Bacon Production Facility in Kentucky

It's official—Tyson Foods, Inc. has formally announced the opening of its new 400,000-square-foot production facility located in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

According to the company, the plant will support a significant expansion of its bacon production capabilities and is expected to produce two million pounds per week of Jimmy Dean® and Wright® Brand bacon for retail and foodservice. 

The new facility will create about 450 jobs in southcentral Kentucky, which Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear celebrated.

“The grand opening of Tyson Foods’ cutting-edge facility marks...


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Jan 26 7:35 AM, UB Newswires

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

Standard Meat Company Announces Fifth Processing Plant in Forth Worth

Standard Meat Company, a multi-generational protein packaging and portioning company, recently announced the construction of its fifth processing plant located at 1101 NE 23rd Street in Forth Worth, Texas.

The 166,000-square-foot facility will occupy a renovated 1955 meat processing facility in Fort Worth’s northside, just a short distance from the company's headquarters at the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Standard Meat Company purchased the building for development last year and plans to install a state-of-the-art sous vide line. Expansion capacity at the new plant will allow for additional sous vide lines or other production lines as needed...

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Jan 24 6:36 AM, UB Newswires

Major U.S. Winter Storm May Hinder Livestock Movement

Livestock producers and road crews are preparing for a major winter storm that will impact a significant portion of the country this week. 

The Plains and Midwest, where the bulk of the nation's cattle and hog-producing regions are located, could experience heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions through Tuesday. Meanwhile, damaging winds and severe thunderstorms are expected for the deep South through the Northeast today into tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). 

Whiteout conditions due to heavy snowfall combined with severe wind gusts could...


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Jan 8 9:27 AM, UB Newswires

Urner Barry's Winter 2024 Reporter Issue Released; Read It Online For Free Now

Check out a brand new issue of Urner Barry's Reporter!

The winter 2024 edition of Urner Barry's Reporter magazine is the final issue going to print. Don't miss the farewell to our long-running magazine, as well as informative pieces on Ecuador's shrimp supply; the Russia-Ukraine war's impact on the agricultural market two years in; and much more!

Read Volume 19, Number 1 of Urner Barry's Reporter for free here.

Full Story »
Jan 5 11:53 AM, Urner Barry

December Jobs Report Surpasses Expectations

Recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that the labor market added 216,000 jobs in December, up from 173,000 the previous month and surpassing expectations. 

Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected the report to show 175,000.

The unemployment rate was 3.7% last month, unchanged from November and slightly below expectations of 3.8%. 

Employment continued to trend higher in government, health care, social assistance, and construction. Meanwhile, jobs in transportation and warehousing declined, added the BLS.

Government employment increased by 52,000 while health care added 38,000 jobs last month...

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Jan 5 9:46 AM, UB Newswires

CME Grain Futures Pressured by Improved Moisture in Brazil

CME soybean futures began the new year at multi-month lows, pressured by improved moisture in Brazil and extended forecasts for additional rainfall. 

The March soybeans contract slipped to the lowest level since June 30 and ended with a 24 ½ cents decline at $12.73 per bushel. 

Brazil is the world’s leading producer of soybeans, followed by the United States and Argentina. The planting season in Brazil occurs from October through December, with harvest taking place in March through May...

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Jan 3 7:51 AM, UB Newswires

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

Triumph Foods to Create 88 Jobs During St. Joseph Expansion

Triumph Foods announced that it will expand operations at the company's 800,000-square-foot facility in St. Joseph, Missouri, creating 88 new jobs in the process.  

“Triumph Foods is a Missouri-made, leading pork processor that we’re excited to see continuing to grow,” said Governor Mike Parson on X, formerly known as Twitter. “This company’s expansion is an exciting development for the local community and regional economy and will further strengthen our state’s thriving agriculture industry. We look forward to Triumph Foods’ continued success as it invests and creates jobs...

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Dec 22 6:55 AM, UB Newswires

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: 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

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

U.S. Stocks Trade Mixed Following Latest CPI Report

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for November Tuesday morning, showing the index up 3.1% on the year.

The latest data matched expectations and was down from 3.2% the month prior. Inflation gained 0.1% on a monthly basis in November after holding steady last month, slightly outpacing expectations.

The core CPI, which strips out food and energy, increased by 0.3% last month after rising by 0.2% in October. Over the last 12 months, the all items minus food and energy index gained 4.0%...


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Dec 12 10:15 AM, UB Newswires

Smithfield Foods to Terminate Grower Contracts With 26 Farms in Utah

In a press release issued Tuesday, Smithfield Foods announced it will terminate contracts with 26 hog farms in Utah amid challenging market conditions. 

The contract terminations will eliminate Smithfield positions that support contract farm relationships, said the company. The number of Smithfield positions eliminated may be up to one-third of the 210 currently employed in its Utah hog production operations. The company will offer relocation opportunities for the affected employees.  

Smithfield Foods is one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies and employs nearly 60,000 people in seven countries...

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Dec 6 6:55 AM, UB Newswires

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

The Retail Rundown: Feasting on Holiday Features

Thanksgiving is here and the retail segment is teeming with all things turkeys, sides, sweets, and treats!

Fittingly, turkey leads the protein category with 31.1% of total feature volume, up from 22.5% the week prior. Pork follows with 22.8%. Seafood narrowly overtakes beef for the third spot, with 18.8%. Beef claimed 17.4%, nearly flat with last week.

Mintec recently took a look at the components that make up the traditional holiday dinner in its "Thanksgiving Dinner Index 2023" report. The index, which measures price fluctuations across key food commodities that make up a...

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Nov 22 7:15 AM, UB Newswires

Corn Harvest Nears Completion in Latest Crop Progress Report

In the latest Crop Progress report, the USDA shows 93% of corn is now harvested, up from 88% the week prior and ahead of the 5-year average figure by two percentage points. Kansas, North Carolina, and Texas are reporting 100% harvest completion. 

Winter wheat plantings are nearing completion as well, with 95% of the crop in the ground as of Sunday, November 19. 87% of winter wheat has emerged and 83% is rated in fair to excellent condition overall.

Nearby corn futures contracts are 2 to 2 ½ cents higher...

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Nov 21 10:02 AM, UB Newswires

Skyline Provisions, Inc. Recalls Ground Beef Following Complaint of Foreign Object

Skyline Provisions, Inc. is recalling about 5,620 pounds of raw ground beef products after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) received a customer complaint about a foreign object. 

In an announcement made on Sunday, the FSIS said the raw ground beef items were produced and packed on Aug. 19, 2023. The products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 19300” and were shipped to institutions in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire...

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Nov 20 8:25 AM, UB Newswires

American Egg Board Embarks on Trade Mission to Boost U.S. Export Growth

Last week, the American Egg Board (AEB) embarked on a 2023 U.S. Egg Industry Trade Mission to further its goal of boosting U.S. export growth and creating a stronger, more sustainable, and more resilient egg industry.

Home of The Incredible Egg, the American Egg Board is the national marketing organization of America's egg farmers. AEB's mission is to increase demand for eggs and egg products through research, education, and promotion. AEB is located in Chicago. 

From November 6-11, AEB faculty and U.S. egg industry leaders traveled to...


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Nov 17 11:00 AM, UB Newswires

President Biden Signs Stopgap Funding Bill, Avoiding Gov't Shutdown

A government shutdown was narrowly avoided once again after President Joe Biden signed a stopgap spending bill Thursday evening. 

Funding was due to expire at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, raising concerns about widespread disruptions ahead of the hectic holiday season. 

The short-term bill, or continuing resolution (CR), passed the Senate and House this week and splits the extension into two dates: January 19 and February 2. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 87-11 to approve the stopgap bill.

A statement released by the White House yesterday reads...


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Nov 17 6:49 AM, UB Newswires

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

Corn Harvest 88%, Soybeans 95% Complete in Latest Crop Progress Report

In the latest Crop Progress report, the USDA shows 88% of corn is now harvested, up from 81% the week prior and two percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. 

Nearby corn futures contracts are fractionally higher in early Tuesday trading following yesterday's rally. December corn was last trading nearly flat at $4.77 ½ per bushel. 

The soybean harvest is nearly complete at 95%, up from the previous week's figure of 91%. The five-year average rate is also 91%...

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Nov 14 9:30 AM, UB Newswires

Agricultural Markets Brace for Potential Gov't Shutdown Ahead of Holiday Season

Agricultural market participants are bracing for a potential government shutdown, which is just days away should Congress fail to extend funding past November 17. 

House Speaker Mike Johnson proposed a two-step spending bill, which has received tentative support from Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer. If passed, it would extend government funding for four appropriation bills to January 2024 and funding for the remaining eight bills into February. The bill must clear the House before moving to the Senate...

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Nov 14 7:25 AM, UB Newswires

Paraguayan Authorities Approve Health Protocol for Beef Exports to U.S.

In a notice issued Monday, Minerva Foods announced that Servicio Nacional de Calidad y Salud Animal, from Paraguay, has approved a health protocol for Paraguayan beef exports to the United States.

Minerva Foods is South America's leading beef exporter and has four plants in Paraguay. Combined, those four facilities have a slaughter capacity of 8,000 head per day. 

Only bureaucratic procedures remain before Paraguayan production units are certified and exports can be started, added the company. Once certified, these units will be added to assets in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay....

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Nov 13 7:22 AM, UB Newswires

North 49 Foods Opens New Sow Processing Plant in Moose Jaw

A new pork processing facility in Canada has come online, marking the first time for such an occasion in over a decade. 

North 49 Foods, a division of Thunder Creek Pork, officially opened its federally inspected sow slaughter and processing facility in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in late October. 

The 120,000-square-foot facility was retrofitted from the former JBS/XL Foods beef plant, which was acquired by Donald's Fine Foods in 2019.

Donald's Fine Foods already operates a hog slaughter plant in Moose Jaw that was opened in 2011...

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Nov 10 6:51 AM, UB Newswires

Cultivated Meat Company Omeat Opens Pilot Plant in California

Omeat, a cultivated meat start-up based in Los Angeles, announced the completion of its state-of-the-art pilot plant, bringing the company a step closer to commercialization. 

Located outside of Los Angeles, California, the 15,000-square-foot facility can house bioreactors up to 10,000L in size and has an annual production capacity of 400 tons.

The plant executes Omeat's vertical integration approach, where consumers can enjoy a "farm-to-table" experience. Olymel's first product is 80% lean/20% fat ground beef, which is created without GMOs, immortalized cells, engineered...

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Nov 9 6:36 AM, UB Newswires

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

Corn Harvest Up to 81% Complete, Soybeans Near Completion

The corn harvest has reached 81% completion as of Sunday, November 5. This compares to the 5-year average of 77% at this time.

Most of the corn harvest typically wraps up in late November, though some states harvest well into December.

December corn is currently trading at $4.74 ¼ per bushel, down 3 cents. Traders and industry participants await Thursday’s USDA WASDE report, scheduled for release at 12:00 pm EST.

The soybean harvest is 5 points ahead of the 5-year average rate at 91% completion. Louisiana reports...

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Nov 7 9:43 AM, UB Newswires

Bird Flu Infects Commercial Table Egg Layer Farm for First Time in 11 Months

A commercial table egg layer operation has tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), or bird flu, for the first time in eleven months. 

The impacted operation had 940,000 birds in Wright County, Minnesota, according to USDA data. The government lists the confirmation data as November 3, 2023. 

Prior to last week's detection, the latest commercial layer operation to be hit by bird flu was a farm with 239,700 birds in Weld County, Colorado on December 20, 2022...


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Nov 7 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 30,000 Pounds of Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Tyson Foods, Inc. is voluntarily recalling nearly 30,000 pounds of its frozen, fully cooked chicken “Fun Nuggets” due to consumer complaints of small metal pieces in the chicken patty product.

The product was produced on September 5, 2023, and was sold to retailers in 29-ounce packages. 

In a notice issued Saturday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) stated that the following product is subject to recall:

  • 29-oz. Plastic bag packages containing “Tyson FULLY COOKED FUN NUGGETS BREADED SHAPED CHICKEN PATTIES” with a Best...
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Nov 6 7:25 AM, UB Newswires

The Retail Rundown: A Nod to November

Winter is seemingly giving a nod to November, as frigid and record-cold temperatures impact much of the central and southern United States this week.

While households hunker down for the colder weather, retailers are quickening the seasonal transition to comfort foods and indoor oven cooking. Moreover, grocers are gearing up for the inpouring of holiday shoppers now that  Thanksgiving is just three short weeks away.

The holiday centerpiece—turkey—is under close watch as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), also known as bird flu...

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Nov 1 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

Latest Crop Progress Shows Corn Harvest 71%, Soybeans 85% Complete

In the latest Crop Progress report, the USDA shows 71% of corn is now harvested, up from 59% the week prior and surpassing the 5-year average figure by five percentage points. 

Nearby corn futures contracts are fractionally higher in early Tuesday trading.

85% of the soybean harvest is complete, up from the previous week's figure of 76%. This is two points behind year-ago progress but is seven points ahead of the 5-year average.

January soybeans were last trading 3 ½ cents higher at $13.11 a bushel...

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Oct 31 9:33 AM, UB Newswires

Bird Flu Detected in Several U.S. Commercial Turkey Flocks Last Week

Last week, several commercial turkey operations spanning four states reported positive detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), a highly contagious and often fatal disease in birds. 

HPAI can be spread by direct or indirect contact with infected domestic or wild birds including ducks and geese. The disease can also be spread by contact with the virus on surfaces such as hands, shoes, clothing, and animal fur.

Poultry owners are urged to increase their biosecurity practices to protect their flocks, especially with fall migration underway.


On October 26, HPAI was detected in...


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Oct 30 6:41 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

Nepal Added to USDA List of Regions Affected by African Swine Fever

In a notice issued earlier this week, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) indicated that they have added the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal to the APHIS list of regions considered to be affected by African swine fever (ASF). 

“We have taken this action because of the confirmation of ASF in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal,” said the government agency. The first outbreak of ASF in Nepal was reported by the World Organisation of Animal Health in May 2022...

Full Story »
Oct 27 7:06 AM, UB Newswires

Cold Storage: End Sep Combined Meat/Poultry -1.3% on Mo, -7.8% on Yr

USDA monthly cold storage data released Wednesday afternoon showed combined meat and poultry stocks held in the nation's freezer warehouses at the end of September at about 2.146 billion pounds, 1.3% below the previous month and 7.8% less than a year ago.

Turkey and pork stocks were below the previous month while chicken and beef were up from their respective August figures. Turkey stocks were up from a year ago while chicken, pork, and beef were smaller. The combined stocks were 9.3% below the five-year average of...


Full Story »
Oct 25 3:25 PM, UB Newswires

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...

Full Story »
Oct 25 7:10 AM, UB Newswires

Corn Harvest Up to 59% in Latest Crop Progress Report

The corn harvest as of Sunday, October 22nd, was up to 59% completion, according to the latest USDA survey. This figure is on par with year-ago progress and is ahead of the 5-year average by five points. Corn in the mature stage has reached completion.

Nearby corn futures were last trading 3 cents lower per bushel.

76% of soybeans have been harvested so far this season, up from 62% the week prior. This figure exceeds the 5-year average by 9 points but is behind the year-ago figure...

Full Story »
Oct 24 9:57 AM, UB Newswires

CME Grain Futures Surge Amid Extreme Drought in Brazil, Pressuring Feeders Lower

Feeder cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange plummeted to multi-month floors on Thursday, pressuring live cattle futures lower as well. 

Most active January feeders touched their lowest level since June 28 and finished $5.525 lower at $245.375 per cwt. December live cattle hit a one-week floor and settled down $1.90 to $185.30 per cwt. Yesterday's sell-off lowered feeder futures into oversold territory. 

A sharp rise in corn futures contributed to the downturn in feeders. December corn surged to the highest level since August and finished 13 cents higher at $5.05 a bushel...

Full Story »
Oct 20 7:21 AM, UB Newswires

US House Void of Speaker as Continuing Resolution Approaches Expiration

The US House remains without a speaker as the continuing resolution enacted by Congress on September 30 approaches its expiration on November 17.

The House voted to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House on October 3 after the government narrowly avoided a partial shutdown. For two weeks, legislative business in the House has come to a grinding halt as Republicans remain divided on electing a candidate. 

Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan remained short of the 217 votes needed to be elected speaker on Tuesday. The House is expected to...

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Oct 19 7:38 AM, UB Newswires

JBS S.A. Unveils Brand Modernization for 70th Anniversary

In honor of its 70th anniversary, JBS S.A. unveiled its brand modernization to the company's visual applications. 

Starting next week, those located near the company's headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil can see the new changes, which were developed over three years in partnership with FutureBrand. 

The three letters of the company's name remain present but the writing and symbol that accompanies them have been modified. The parentheses around the letters represent hands, protection, and affection between JBS, customers, and consumers, according to the company...

Full Story »
Oct 19 7:11 AM, UB Newswires

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...

Full Story »
Oct 18 7:11 AM, UB Newswires

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