This report represents information for the week ending February 26, 2020.

Market is firmer. Total beef production for last week was down 9.3% from prior week and was down 10% compared to same time last year. Year to date total production is down 3.2% compared to year-to-date 2020. Total headcount for last week was 552,000 as compared to 626,000 for the same week last year. Year to date total headcount is 4,502,000 as compared to 4,765,000 for year-to-date 2020. Live weights for last week were even with prior week and up 26 lbs. versus same time last year. Severe winter weather across much of the country has been an issue for the past few weeks. Multiple beef plants have reported reduced production due to the severe weather. This combined with multiple plants that have been down for routine maintenance over the past few weeks put additional pressure on inventories. Retail activity has been brisker as shoppers restock their shelves. Indoor dining restrictions have been improving and this is helping to improve foodservice demand. Export demand has been good as China and other countries continue to increase their purchases.

Grinds- Market is firmer. Buying activity is improved and putting pressure on inventories.

Loins- Market is unsettled. Demand dropped as we moved past Valentine’s Day, but the severe weather has had the market in a more unsettled tone. The lighter production helped to keep pressure on the market as we moved thru this week. Improving production has the market in an unsettled tone.

Rounds- Market is firmer. The light production over the past few weeks has been keeping pressure on the market.

Chucks- Market is firmer. Retail demand has been very good the past several days as buyers look to cover their needs. The reduced production has put pressure on availability.

Ribs- Market is unsettled. Demand typically eases now that we have moved past Valentine’s Day, but the more limited production is helping to keep inventories more limited than expected.

Market is firmer. Total pork production for last week was down 8.4% versus prior week but was down 4.9% compared to same time last year. Year to date production is down 2.5% compared to year-to-date 2020. Total headcount for last week was 2,438,000 as compared to 2,611,000 for same week last year. Year to date headcount is 18,943,000 as compared to 19,866,000 for year-to-date 2020. Live weights for last week were even with prior week and up 6 lbs. when compared with same time last year. Strong winter storms have been having an impact on logistics and availability over the past few weeks as heavy snow and extreme cold swept across much of the country. Late trucks and production issues have been common as we moved through last week. The USDA recently announced that cold storage inventories are down 30% from same time last year. Hog supplies are expected to tighten as we move further into 2021 due to reductions in the breeding herd that started last summer. This impact is expected to be felt as we move into Q2 and as we move through the summer months. Cold storage inventories are currently at a 10-year low and this combined with exports that were up 15% in 2020 are adding additional pressure to the market. China’s imports have been low to start 2021 but additional new cases of African Swine Fever are being reported and keeping that market in a more unsettled tone.

Bellies- Market is firmer. Very good demand is keeping pressure on inventories that have been reduced due in part to the lighter production the past few weeks. Demand for exports to Canada have been very good due to supply chain disruptions that they have seen in their market.

Hams- Market is firmer. Weather related issues have added additional pressure to the market. Export interest has been very good and helping to move additional inventories. Additional pressure is being put on the market due to suppliers needing additional material for grinding and utilizing ham inventories for that need. Demand for Easter is expected to put pressure on the market over the coming weeks as buyers look to cover their needs for the holiday time frame.

Loins- Market is unsettled. The market has held mostly steady as we moved through the last few weeks even with the weather issues. Inventories are varied between packers.

Butts- Market is firmer. Export demand has been good with pricing being favorable for the market. Buying activity had been strong for the past several weeks as buyers looked to cover their needs ahead of the upcoming BBQ season, but interest had eased over the past few days. The weather issues put additional pressure on this market over the past few weeks. Demand is expected to be seasonally good as we move through upcoming weeks.

Ribs- Market is unsettled. Buying interest had been lighter as we moved into this week, but weather-related concerns have helped to slow any additional decreases. Cold storage inventories are lighter and the expected lighter production moving into the summer are expected to help keep pressure on the market.

Market is steady to firmer. Total headcount for last week was 95,927,000 as compared to 169,956,000 for the same week last year. Average weights for last week were 6.29 lbs. as compared to 6.26 lbs. for the same week last year. Chick placements on fryers for week ending 3/27/21 are estimated at 163.4 million headcounts. Placements for previous week were 163.2 million and same week last year was 170.3 million. Last week’s inclement weather slowed processing schedules and some heavier bird weights are now being reported across the industry. Retail and foodservice activity is being reported as normal to light this week. Processing schedules are running at reduced levels due to labor shortages. With the reduction in supply, offerings and spot market activity is lighter than usual. Industry demand for boneless breasts, tenders, leg quarters, and wings remains steady. Export demand for leg quarters is starting to gain a bit of momentum. Limited production schedules continue to be a strain on the industry.

WOGS- Market is steady. With warmer weather, deli sales and fast-food volume is showing some improvement. Most sizes are clearing well, offerings are limited.

Tenders- Market is firm. Last week’s interruption in production is causing limited supply this week. Improved foodservice activity is keeping the category supported on select and jumbo sizes.

Boneless Breast- Market is steady to firmer. Retail and foodservice sales remain moderate across most regions. Jumbo sized boneless is getting an uptick in demand as restaurant activity is picking up. Supply is moderate to tight depending on the size.

Leg Quarters and Thighs- Market is steady to firmer. Leg quarter activity continues to improve as future orders in the export channel are on the rise. Retail volume for drums and thighs remains steady. Dark meat demand continues to rise as restaurant activity improves. Supply is available, but tight depending on the sourcing plant.

Wings- Market is steady. Carryout business from the foodservice channel continues to be strong and appears to have peaked for the time being. Limited supply and reduced schedules continue to keep supply tight. Availability is tight on all sizes.

Market is steady. Total headcount for last week was 2,911,000 as compared to 4,099,000 for the same week last year. Average weights for last week were 34.97 lbs. as compared to 32.80 lbs. for the same week last year. The market on frozen whole birds remains firm and supported by strong future bookings. Demand for fresh white meat and trim is light while activity on bone-in parts is brisker. Export orders for drums is strong while orders on wings is less than optimal. Supply for whole birds is very tight, parts remain limited, and white meats are available.

Whole Birds- Market is firm. Future bookings are strong, and supply is limited due to reduced production head counts. All sizes are clearing well, hen sizes are the most requested, limited offerings are being reported.

Breast Meat- Market is steady. Demand from retail and foodservice is being reported as moderate to soft. Retail deli sales are average and foodservice activity is trying to get back to normal. Supply is moderate on fresh and some excess is being reported on frozen raw material.

Wings- Market is steady to weaker. Both export and domestic activity has retracted over the last month. Weekly demand on whole wings and 2-joints is reported as light. Supply is available.

Drums and Thigh Meat- Market is steady to firmer. Activity on drums continues to improve as the weather gets warmer. Tom sizes are the most requested. Thigh meat demand remains strong and well supported by retail ground turkey sales. Offerings are limited.

Gulf Shrimp- Market is firm. Inventories are limited. Early season catches have been very light and putting additional pressure on inventories.  Demand has been improved and keeping pressure on the market. Meaningful replacement inventories are not anticipated until later in the spring.

Black Tiger Shrimp- Market is mixed. The market remains in the same trends that have been seen for several months. Larger sized product continues to see lighter demand as this product is primarily used in the foodservice market and many restaurants continue to see light traffic. Smaller sized product has seen upward pressure with light inventories with a good demand.

White Shrimp- Market is steady to firmer. Logistic costs combined with higher production costs are putting additional pressure on the market. The market for product of Ecuador is seeing increased buying interest and delays in logistics are being reported. The overall market remains unsettled due to demand across the country being mixed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Demand is stronger on smaller sized product and this is putting pressure on the market.

King Crab- Market is firm. Strong global demand and limited inventories are keeping continued pressure on the market.

Snow Crab- Market is firm. Inventories are limited for current demand.

Warm Water Lobster Tails- Market is firm. Prices have moved higher multiple weeks in a row and at a very quick pace.  Inventories are very limited due to seasonal fishery closures, light production for the past few years, and a very strong demand for product due to the overall tail market having very limited inventories. Allocations have been commonplace as demand is exceeding supply.

North American Lobster Tails- Market is firm. Poor weather conditions and seasonal plant closures have kept pressure on production over the past several weeks. Inventories are limited.

Salmon- Market is steady to firmer. Demand has been improving over the past few days as weather conditions have improved across the country. Production concerns in China are putting additional pressure on the market.

Cod- Market is mostly steady. Demand has been improved as buyers look to cover their needs due to supply issues on product coming from China. Production and shipping issues are putting pressure on available product coming out of that region. There has been a 6% reduction in the quota for product of Iceland.

Flounder- Market is unsettled. Inventories vary between suppliers, but overall demand has become lighter helping to keep the market more unsettled. Production and shipping delays in China are helping to keep the market more unsettled. A 25% tariff on twice frozen Sole/Flounder imports was in place starting on January 1, 2021.

Haddock- Market is firmer. Delays in shipments and plant disruptions related to COVID-19 are putting pressure on availability and putting upward pressure on the market. A 25% Tariff on twice frozen haddock imports was put in place on January 1, 2021.

Pollock- Market is unsettled. Fishing has been below expectations and continue to result in more smaller sized fish. This is keeping continued pressure on larger sized product as it is in tighter supply as compared to the smaller sizes. Concerns related to COVID-19 have the market in a more unsettled tone

Domestic Catfish- Market is firm. Production has been lighter than expectations and keeping pressure on availability. Shorts and allocations to orders have been commonplace.  Some reports show that allocations are expected to take place until closer to mid-year. Pricing has been at higher levels for several months now as well as allocations of orders have been ongoing for months. This is due to both supply and labor concerns.

Tilapia- Market is firm. Increasing shipping costs combined with higher raw material costs are putting upward pressure on replacement inventories overseas. Plants in China have been at capacity for several weeks as they tried to get orders out ahead of Chinese New Year. Container availability for product coming out of China is limited and delays in shipments are likely over the coming weeks. Plants in China are expected to remain closed for a longer period after Chinese New Year this year to allow for a quarantine period before everyone returns to work.

Swai- Market is firmer. Demand has been improving over the past few weeks and the market has seen upward pressure as we moved into this week. Limited availability of other species is putting additional pressure on this market. Raw material costs overseas have been increasing and this combined with increasing ocean freight costs are putting upward pressure on replacement inventories overseas.

Scallops- Market is steady to firmer. The domestic market is seeing upward pressure with more limited inventories ahead of the new season which kicks off in April. The market for product of Canada has been seeing upward pressure as lower catch limits and poor weather have been limiting availability. The market has moved higher on all sizes of Canadian product over the past few weeks. The remainder of the market is holding mostly steady.

Market is unsettled. The CME Block market this week moved higher while the barrel market moved lower. Across the country ample milk supply continues flowing to cheese production.  Northeast producers report strong cheese production especially for cheddar, provolone, and mozzarella. Retail demand in the region is reported as healthy with foodservice demand reported as steady. In the Midwest, overall demand for cheese is strong. Production is active. Inventories are increasing although not yet burdensome. Western producers are actively producing at capacity, making use of abundant milk supply in the region. Inventories in the west are reported as heavy.

Market is weaker. The CME butter market moved lower as this week progressed.  In the northeast production is strong. Inventories are at higher yet stable levels. Central region production is in a similar state as producers are churning to make use of additional cream supply. In the west demand for bulk and print butter is higher than in recent months. Retail demand is likewise improving. Inventories in the region are heavy.

 

Market is steady. Retail demand is being reported as moderate and improving. Foodservice volume continues to be reported as moderate to light with signs of improvement. Last week’s winter storms delayed some shipments out to the West Coast and some customers are still awaiting delayed loads. Supply is available, but tight on both medium and large sizes. Market is trending flat on medium sizes and large sizes. National weekly shell egg inventory reports shell egg inventory up 0.8% over last  week.

Market is firmer. Soybean markets and futures continue to trend upward on a weekly basis. The level of domestic soybean stocks continues to be reported as tight. Export demand continues to be strong as foreign countries try to cover their soybean needs due to the uncertain harvest and yield from South America. Biodiesel needs in the United States continue to rise and is creating demand that the category has not seen in many  years. Crop and yield predictions from Brazil continue to improve, but the Northern region  continues to have harvest issues due to the late rains. Soybean supply remains extremely  tight.

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. The market for nitrile gloves is expected to remain unstable for the foreseeable future. Raw material increases are expected on both latex and vinyl gloves as well. The poly resin glove market saw market increases recently as well. Further increases are anticipated. Blended material gloves are beginning to enter the market. Logistics has been and will remain a major factor to the overall glove market health. Ocean freight operations are experiencing multiple challenges as attempts are made to keep up with the increased imports demand. Not only shortages in containers but equipment as well has led to significant delays in offloading goods. Currently, trends point to space shortages as the largest contributor to ocean freight & receiving challenges.