This report represents information for the week ending September 18th, 2020.

Market is weaker. Total beef production for last week was down 9.0% versus prior week and was down 7.7% compared to same time last year. Total headcount for last week was 574,000 as compared to 636,000 for the same week last year.  Live weights for last week were up 5 lbs. from prior week and up 18 lbs. versus same time last year.  The shortened holiday week put additional pressure on availability as we moved into this week due to the lower production numbers.  Labor availability related to COVID-19 has been an ongoing concern but is slowly improving.  Measures put in place in plants have helped improve employee safety but have slowed availability of some items due to changes in line times and reduction of additional trimming at some plants.  Demand coming into September has been unlike normal seasonal trends due to the changes in consumer buying patterns over the past few months.  Typically demand shifts after Labor Day as retail buying patterns change but seasonal demands have been out of the norm this summer.  The Choice grading percentage has remained very high and continues to keep pressure on availability of Select graded product.

Grinds- Market is weaker.  Demand is typically seasonally lighter as we move past the holiday and the market has pushed lower as we moved thru this week.

Loins- Market is weaker.  Demand was seasonally good leading up to the holiday and put upward pressure on the market.  The market typically eases lower after the holiday and this week has followed those trends.

Rounds- Market is weaker.  Buying interest has eased as we moved into this week.

Chucks- Market is weaker.  Inventories are good for a fair demand.

Ribs- Market is unsettled.  Available inventories are mixed between the packers causing larger swings in asking prices as we moved thru this week.  This week has seen some asking prices move lower while holding steady with others.

Market is mixed.  Total pork production for last week was down 5.9% versus prior week and was down 11.2% compared to same time last year.  Total headcount for last week was 2,335,000 as compared to 2,632,000 for same week last year.  Live weights for last week were down 1 lb. from prior week and even with same time last year. Labor availability related to COVID-19 has been an ongoing concern and causing many of the plants to have to run at reduced speeds. The limited production has caused cuts and allocations to be commonplace as we moved through the summer. Further trimmed, deboned, and more labor intense items continue to remain in lighter supply. Production has been slowly improving over the past few weeks and availability is mixed between suppliers. Foodservice demand had been slowly improving as additional states eased restrictions on their shelter in place orders. Pricing has moved dramatically higher and lower over the past several weeks due to the large swings in demand and production. Availability of further processed items such as pepperoni remains more limited and seeing upward pressure in pricing as production and availability continue to trail normal seasonal trends.

Bellies- Market is firmer. Buying activity has been improved for the past few weeks and helping to keep pressure on the market.

Hams- Market is unsettled. This market has continued to move higher and lower over the past several weeks as demand has been a big impact as exports orders have helped to cause larger swings in prices. This combined with buying activity for the upcoming holidays is helping to keep the market in a more unsettled tone.

Loins- Market is firmer. Demand was very good leading up to the holiday and this combined with shortened production last week has helped to keep inventories lighter.

Butts- Market is steady to weaker. Buying activity has been lighter as we moved into this week.

Ribs- Market is unsettled. Seasonal demand typically surges right ahead of the holiday before easing over the next few weeks. The lighter production last week helped to keep available inventories tighter and has kept the market in a more unsettled tone this week.

Market is steady. Total headcount for last week was 149,110,000 as compared to 173,696,000 for the same week last year. Average weights for last week were 6.48 lbs. as compared to 6.30 lbs. for the same week last year. In regard to chick placements, fryers for week ending 10/17/20 are estimated at 163.1 million headcount. Placements for previous week were 163.2 million and same week last year was 169.1 million. As Hurricane Sally made landfall, some production facilities are having to adjust their production and delivery schedules. At the current time, it is unknown how much the storm will impact supply patterns. Consistent demand is being reported on WOGS, boneless breast, wings, and tenders. Export demand for leg quarters remains slow, but domestic demand is starting to pick up. Weekly egg sets and production numbers remain consistent on a weekly basis. Plants are still be challenged with labor issues which is constraining the total output of supply.

WOGS- Market is steady. Retail deli and foodservice volume continues to be steady and balanced with industry production. Supply is moderate on sized and cutting stock sizes.

Tenders- Market is steady. Foodservice business continues to be steady and strong enough to keep supply moving. Supply is tight.

Boneless Breast- Market is steady. Retail and foodservice business has improved a bit over the last week. As production schedules have tightened over the past few weeks, supply is now more in balance with weekly demand. Supply is available.

Leg Quarters and Thighs- Market is steady to firmer. Export demand for leg quarters and whole legs is still reported as sluggish. Domestic demand for drums, thighs, and thigh meat is on the rise and the market is starting to adjust. Supply is getting tighter.

Wings- Market is steady. Seasonal demand is being reported as active. Foodservice volume is rated as good and further processors continue to replenish inventory levels. Supply is tight due to reduced floor stocks.

Market is steady to firm. Total headcount for last week was 3,724,000 as compared to 4,102,000 for the same week last year. Average weights for last week were 32.32 lbs. as compared to 32.20 lbs. for the same week last year. The market on whole body turkeys remains strong and mostly unchanged as we move into the fall months. Weekly activity on breast meat and bone-in breasts remains adequate. Industry volume on parts and dark meat remains moderate. Export demand for drums remains steady. Supply remains available across most categories and lines of business.

Whole Birds- Market is firm. Demand for all sizes of frozen whole birds remains is constant. Fresh business for November continues to be reported as very good. Supply continues to be limited with very few spot loads being offered.

Breast Meat- Market is steady. Weekly demand for white meat and white trim remains steady. Retail deli remains strong while foodservice activity is reported as moderate. Supply for fresh and frozen breast meat is available.

Wings- Market is steady to firm. Domestic and export demand for whole wings and 2 joints is rated as steady to good. Offerings are very limited.

Drums and Thigh Meat- Market is steady. Domestic and export volume on drums is consistent. Export sales have improved over the past few weeks and the market appears to have plateaued. Ground turkey sales remain strong in the retail channel. Supply is available but starting to tighten.

Gulf Shrimp- Market is unsettled.  Production has been seasonally improving over the past few weeks and helping to improve inventories.  Fishing activity earlier this week helped to bring additional product into the plants ahead of Hurricane Sally.  Current demand is fair.

Black Tiger Shrimp- Market is mixed.  Larger sized product continues to see lighter demand as this product is primarily used in the foodservice market and many restaurants continue to see lighter traffic.  Smaller sized product has seen upward pressure with light inventories with a good demand.

White Shrimp- Market is unsettled.  Retail demand continues to be very good but seasonally demand typically starts to ease over the coming weeks.  This year has been out of the norm and is helping to hold the market in a more unsettled tone.  Demand has been good on smaller sizes and costs overseas are seeing upward pressure.  Product from Latin America has seen upward pressure due to demand for product from that region for China has been strong.

King Crab- Market is firm.  Inventories are limited for an active demand.

Snow Crab- Market is firm.  Inventories are light for an active demand.  Buying activity has been very active for the past several weeks and putting pressure on availability.  This week has seen costs push higher across the board on all sizes.

Warm Water Lobster Tails- Market is mostly steady.  Demand this summer has been very unsettled due to issues related to COVID-19.  Even though inventories have been much lighter than prior years the market has been holding steadier the past few weeks as new season product began entering the market.

North American Lobster Tails- Market is firm.  Raw material prices have seen upward pressure due to light availability on several sizes.  Larger sizes are in lighter supply and is reflective in pricing.  Live lobsters out of this region are firm due to the limited availability.

Salmon- Market is firm.  The market for farmed salmon is firm with light inventories for an active demand.  Labor issues in Chile have slowed exports coming out of that region and putting pressure on other markets.  The market for Wild Salmon is mixed with availability and pricing mixed between suppliers.  Catches on multiple species of Wild Salmon are well below the forecasts for this season with both Chum and Coho at the lowest catch levels since the 1970’s.  Catches compared to prior year are 50% or more lower on multiple species. This is expected to put upward pressure on the market over the coming weeks.

Cod- Market is steady.

Flounder- Market is steady.

Haddock- Market is steady.

Pollock- Market is mixed.  Larger sized product is in lighter supply and keeping pressure on those sizes.  Smaller sized product is more available due to fishing catches being more on the smaller sizes.

Domestic Catfish- Market is unsettled.  Retail demand has been very good the past several weeks and putting pressure on available inventories.  Production has been lighter than expectations and keeping pressure on availability.  Shorts and allocations to orders have been commonplace.  Issues with imports are putting additional pressure on this market as rising costs and more limited inventories are impacting that market.

Tilapia- Market is mostly steady.  This market has been unsettled for the past several weeks due to changes in tariffs and tightening inventories overseas combined with higher production costs.  Demand has been very good for the past few months.  The market has been holding mostly steady as we moved into this week with current inventories levels good for current demand.

Swai- Market is steady.

Scallops- Market is steady.

Market is firmer. The CME block and barrel markets moved higher this week. Production across the country is quite busy. The USDA announced extensions for school meal programs in many areas. In the Northeast restaurant demand continues to fluctuate depending on the area. Despite the demand variances, demand for Italian style cheeses remain healthy. In the West producers report stronger demand for American style cheese as well as Italian style cheeses.

Market is firmer. The CME butter market moved higher this week. A glut of cream into the market has kept butter production active. Retail demands have begun to rise closer to seasonal levels. Foodservice demand is mostly steady and in line with recent demand trends. In the northeast export interest has been substantial of late. Bulk butter demand is steady. Central region producers report readily available cream supply. Demand for foodservice segment has increased. Retail interest remains high. Butter demand for prints in the western region is good. Export interest is expected to rise. Inventories are higher.

Market is steady. Retail demand for carton eggs is on the rise as we move into the Fall season and outdoor temperatures cool down. Regional promotional activity is improving and helping to give grocery sales an uptick in volume. Foodservice volume continues to be reported as steady to weak depending on the region of the country. QSR activity remains steady to moderate. Supply is available on both medium and large sizes. Market is trending flat on both medium and large sizes. National weekly shell egg inventory reports shell egg inventory down 0.7% over last week.

Market is firm. The soy market rallied late in the week. Supply in South America tightened and increased pricing causing the need for US product to increase. China continues to buy US product increasing demand.

Market is steady.  Weather continues to be favorable for wheat domestic and abroad.  The potential of China purchasing US agricultural products will weigh on how this market moves.

Market is firm. Glove supply remains extremely tight. Market instability remains a concern. Demand across the globe has persisted since the onset of the pandemic. Supply chain challenges, price volatility and unprecedented demand is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

The harvest for frozen green peas experienced another poor crop year. The result is a tight supply and lighter availability until July 2021