This report represents information for the week ending May 13, 2022.

Market is unsettled. Total beef production for last week was up 1.2% from prior week and was up 3.6% compared to same time last year.  Total headcount for last week was 657,000 as compared to 639,000 for the same time last year.  Live weights for last week were down 1 lb. from prior week, but up 9 lbs. from same time last year.  The CME live cattle market remains very strong and has for the year thus far, which is continuing to trend well above prior year.  Demand at retail has been lighter than normal for several weeks.  This has been due in part that the elevated prices seen during the winter months limited prospect for opportunity buys and retail advertising as we moved into the spring.  This, combined with record beef production, has been keeping pressure on the market for the past several weeks.  This week has seen some improved buying interest on some cuts as the current market is seen as more of a value compared to the prior weeks.   

Grinds- Market is steady to firmer.  Buying interest has been improving as we moved into this week as buyers look to cover their needs ahead of Memorial Day.

Loins- Market is unsettled.  Available inventories vary by packer and this week has seen both higher and lower asking prices from multiple packers

Rounds- Market is unsettled.  After seeing multiple weeks of declines the market has seen buying interest pick up this week.  Demand for grinding is picking up and helping to put pressure on this market.

Chucks- Market is mostly steady.

Ribs- Market is mixed.  Buying activity has been below expectations for several weeks. This week however has seen additional buying interest due in part to the lower prices than just a few weeks ago.  Availability is varied between packers with both higher and lower prices being seen for the week.

Market is mixed. Total pork production for last week was up 1.5% versus prior week and was up 2.8% compared to same time last year.  Total headcount for last week was 2,427,000 as compared to 2,396,000 for the same week last year.  Live weights for last week were even with prior week, but up 5 lbs. from same time last year.  While available labor continues to improve compared to prior months, it is still well below necessary levels and continues to be a concern at multiple plants, along with transportation challenges.  Shortages and allocations are commonplace and are expected to continue as we progress through the year.  Further processed items remain in lighter supply due to the limited labor.   Demand for deli items is seasonally improving and this is helping to give extra support to items such as hams.  Export demand has been good on multiple items over the past several weeks, but that demand has become lighter.

Bellies- Market is weaker.  High retail prices have helped to slow buying interest over the past several days.   There remain issues with labor and being able to process product into bacon.  Even though demand has eased, the concern with available labor is keeping product limited and on allocation with multiple suppliers.

Hams- Market is mixed.  While seasonal demand is improving for deli items, export demand has become more varied as we moved through this week.

Loins- Market is steady.  Available inventories vary between suppliers with boneless items still being a challenge for some packers.

Butts- Market is steady.  Limited available labor has been keeping availability on boneless items lighter than normal.  Demand leading up to the holiday has been good but has become more varied as the week progressed.

Ribs- Market is unsettled.  High retail prices are keeping pressure on buying interest ahead of the coming holiday.  The current market remains at elevated levels due to the limited labor and availability seen over the past several weeks.

Market is firmer.  Total headcount for week ending 5/7/22 was 162,822,000 as compared to 163,616,000 for the same week last year.  Average weights for last week were 6.32 lbs. as compared to 6.38 lbs. for the same week last year.  Chick placements on fryers for week ending 6/11/22 are estimated at 163.7 million headcounts.  Placements for previous week were 163.9 million and same week last year was 165.5 million.  The market remains tight as supply continues to be extremely constrained.  Suppliers are dealing with constant increases from input costs and weekly allocations continue to be a challenge.  On the customer side of the business, limited offerings, allocations, and non-existent spot loads are causing the market to rise.  Demand for WOG’s, boneless breast, tenders, dark meat, and parts is strong.  Wing business continues to be soft.  Processing schedules are reduced, and hatch rates still lag behind industry standards.

WOGS- Market is steady to firmer.  Demand from retail deli and fast-food is constant on a weekly basis.  Supply is tight due to limited processing schedules and lighter than average bird weights.  Supply is tight with allocations being reported.  Market is fully supported with premiums being noted.

Tenders- Market is firmer.  Demand from all channels continues to be constant and vibrant.  The supply side remains in allocation mode due to limited tenders and portioning capacity.  Both jumbo and select sizes are held with confidence and the market is moving higher.

Boneless Breast- Market is firmer.  Retail and foodservice business is robust and not showing any signs of slowing down.  Supply is tight on the jumbo and select sizes with medium boneless for retail in the best shape.  Market is moving upwards on a daily basis.

Leg Quarters and Thighs- Market is firmer.  This category is getting a lift in demand both domestically and abroad.  Domestic demand is fueled by consumers looking for cost efficient products like drums and thighs.  Export demand is constant which is keeping excess and spot loads from being shown to market.  Supply remains tight with the market moving higher on parts and thigh meat.

Wings- Market is weaker.  Wing sales and seasonal demand has come and gone.  Foodservice sales of jumbo wings are stagnant and further processors are keeping their inventories of small wing products tight.  Supply is in excess and market levels continue to tick down on a weekly basis.

          

 

Market is steady to firmer.  Total headcount for week ending 5/7/22 was 3,290,000 as compared to 3,853,000 for the same week last year.  Average weights for last week were 31.12 lbs. as compared to 32.34 lbs. for the same week last year.  Since the month of April when multiple cases of HPAI were reported, the supply side of the category is trying to find its footing and get back to normal.  Suppliers are trying to reestablish the grow out and production side of the business that was recently lost.  Supply disruptions continue to be a problem, and this could continue for many months.  On the demand side, most categories are in a fully committed or sold-out position.

Whole Birds- Market is firmer.  As reported for months, whole bird supply is being reported as tight and could be short during the holiday season.  Any loads being shown to the market are held with confidence and premiums requested.  Market levels on almost all sizes of Hens and Toms saw an uptick over the last week.

Breast Meat- Market is firmer.  Demand from all channels is particularly good as we move into the summer months.  The supply side of this category has been hit hard since the availability of Tom breast meat has tightened over the last month.  Shortages continue to be reported and this is affected further processed deli products and sliced meats.  Market levels are moving higher and hitting record highs.

Wings- Market is steady to firm.  Export demand for whole wings is status quo for this time of year.  Domestic demand for 2-joints is keeping any excess supply committed.  Supply has tightened over the last couple of weeks and the market has stabilized.

Drums and Thigh Meat- Market is steady.  Demand from the export and domestic channels is constant enough to keep the supply side sold up.  Supply is limited on bulk drums and thigh meat.  Market has stabilized and is trending flat.

Gulf Shrimp- Market is steady but firm.  Inventories are limited for current demand.  The weaker market of farmed shrimp is helping to keep this market from surging higher as the gap between the Wild and Farmed Shrimp markets continues to increase.

Black Tiger Shrimp- Market is steady to weaker.  Lighter buying interest is helping to keep pressure on the market.

White Shrimp- Market is steady to weaker.  The market for product of Latin America is weaker with good inventories for a lighter demand.  The market for product of Asia is becoming more unsettled as recent imports have been especially good and helping to build inventory levels at a time that demand is below expectations.  Replacement inventories overseas are currently at higher levels than the current market and helping to hold the future market outlook more unsettled. Logistical challenges remain due to port issues in China, and this is causing longer lead times for replacement inventories.

King Crab- Market is unsettled.  Prices for product from Russia has fallen from their recent record highs and this is causing the overall market to be more unsettled.

Snow Crab- Market is weaker.  Demand has pushed much lower as we have progressed through this year.  The high prices that we saw through the Fall and into early this year have helped to slow buying interest, and the market has pushed sharply lower over the past several weeks. The market is forecasting to push lower as we progress through May due to the light demand.  Even with the sharp drops, pricing is still well above normal for this time of the year.

Warm Water Lobster Tails- Market is weaker.  New season production is helping to put downward pressure on the market and helping to push prices lower for the sharp highs that have been seen for several months.

North American Lobster Tails- Market is weaker.  New season production combined with lighter demand is putting downward pressure on the market.

Salmon- Market is weaker.  Buying activity has eased as we moved into this week and this lighter demand is putting downward pressure on the market.

Cod- Market is firm. Available inventories have been limited for several weeks and ongoing production and logistical issues are keeping pressure on the market.

Flounder- Market is firm. Production issues and delays out of China are causing issues for the market.

Haddock- Market is firm. Inventories are light for an active demand. Higher production costs and more limited inventories are putting pressure on the market.  Shipping delays are adding additional challenges as well.

Pollock- Market is firm.  Retail demand has been quite good and putting stress on already light inventories.  Production and logistical issues continue to hamper availability.

Domestic Catfish- Market is firm. Inventories have been limited for several months. Allocations remain commonplace and are anticipated to continue as we head further into 2022. Inventories are limited on all sizes and well below current demand.

Tilapia- Market is firmer.  Inventories are limited for current demand.  The market has been surging higher over the past several months due to strong global demand, freight costs, and increased import costs.

Swai- Market is weaker.  Imports have been improved and helping to improve overall inventories.  The high prices that were seen in the market over the past several months helped to slow demand while the imports were improving.

Scallops- Market is steady to weaker.  The market for Domestic product has seen downward pressure as we travelled through recent weeks, with good fishing resulting in improved volume coming to the market.  The lower fishing quota for this season is expected to help keep the downward pressure more limited as we move through the upcoming weeks and seasonal summer demand normally picks up. The import market is holding mostly steady.

Cheese

Market is mixed. The CME block market is down this week, and the barrel market is up. Cheese production is busy nationwide, with milk supplies widely available in most areas. Demand is steady across retail and foodservice sectors in all regions, though the picture is more mixed out west. In the Northeast, milk production and supply are good, cheese production is busy, and inventories of cheese are stable. Retail and foodservice demand are both steady to strong in the region. In the Midwest, milk availability is good, and the labor situation appears to be getting better by the week. Overall cheese demand in the Midwest is strong, and contacts report that production capacity continues to improve as labor issues lessen. In the West, foodservice demand is steady and retail demand is steady to weaker. Cheese production is busy in the region, though hauling issues due to truck driver shortages, as well as ongoing port delays, are still a factor overall.

Cream Cheese

Market is firm.  Inventories are limited, and allocations and cuts should be expected over the coming weeks. Multiple suppliers are not taking on new business, and inventories are expected to remain noticeably light through Quarter 2 of 2022.  Labor, logistics, and packaging issues are all contributing to the current industry-wide situation. Both foodservice and retail sectors are being affected.

Market is steady to weaker.  The CME Butter Market is just slightly down again to start this week. Butter production nationally is busy, and cream supplies, while mixed across regions, are still available for most needs nationally. In the Northeast, cream supplies are not overabundant, but available to meet most producer’s needs. Foodservice demand in the Northeast is steady to stronger, and retail demand is weaker compared to past weeks due to higher grocery store butter prices. In the Central region, cream supplies are getting tighter as the weeks go on, as ice cream makers in this region are becoming continually active as summer approaches. Both retail and foodservice demand in the central US is showing signs of a dip, giving producers room to build inventories for the summer season. In the West, demand for cream is steady this week, and supplies are more available than in other areas. Foodservice demand is steady out west, while retail demand is again looking weaker this week, most likely due to higher butter prices at grocery stores.  In all regions, hauling costs driven by higher fuel prices are still a source of concern for producers.

Market is weaker.  Retail business is trending soft which is normal as consumer demand usually decreases in the summer months.  Higher shelf prices at retail are also adding to the slow-down in grocery sales.  The foodservice channel continues to be reported as good and trending stronger.  The supply side of the business is now reporting that about twenty-eight million laying hens were casualties of HPAI.  Breaking stock inventories for further processing are hitting some of the highest levels of inventory over the last eight months.  Further processors are being more selective in their purchases and prices are starting to fall.  Supply is available on medium and large sizes.  Market is moving lower on both medium sizes and on large sizes.  National weekly shell egg inventory reports shell egg inventory down 3.7% over last week.

Market remains firm. Soybean export sales marked a year low down 80% from the previous week and 74% from the prior 4-week average. This was due in large part to China’s absence last week with the May Day holiday. Various weather conditions continue to cause delays with farmers getting their crops into the ground, putting numbers at almost 50% behind previous years.

Durum market is firmer. Pricing has risen by over 200% due to the durum harvest having been severely impacted by drought conditions. The harvest was also then affected by heavy rains at the end of the crop season.

Market is firm. Drought conditions in Spain created concerns for the 2022/2023 crop. With availability of sunflower oil being uncertain due to the Russia/Ukraine conflict, prices for olive oil have risen drastically, as demand for this and other vegetable oils have spiked.

Market is firm. The first USDA report estimating size of the upcoming new rice crop was released last month. To no surprise, planted rice acreage was forecasted to be down for the second year in a row. This is an exceedingly rare occurrence, as normally in even number years rice acreage increases. One factor contributing to the acreage reduction: Rice takes more fertilizer per acreage than other crops. With the rising cost of fertilizer, rice is under pressure from both sides. For example: higher returns from alternative crops and a higher cost to plant. With the reality of a smaller rice crop and a much smaller carry-over inventory from this year, rice prices have risen. Another factor are the rising costs of soybean and corn prices. Each winter, farmers must decide how to allocate their planned acreage between soybean, corn, cotton, and rice. The climb in soybean and corn prices makes them attractive to the farmers.

Market is firm. Uncertainty about the 2022 beet crop prospects has caused several major processors to temporarily withdraw from the market. Slow planting progress of the beet sugar, due to cold, wet conditions in the Upper Midwest and dry conditions in other areas, has raised concerns about the beet sugar production estimates. This has caused tightness with refined cane sugar, which is expected to last through Q4.

Market is firm. Supply is struggling to keep up with demand. As a result, prices are high and does not show any signs of retreating soon.

Market is firm.  Due to severe weather conditions this past growing season, the pea crop was short of expectations and suppliers are projected to start running out of supply incredibly early in Q1 2022. Replenishment will be with the new pack in June.  Allocations and cuts to orders should be expected as we move through the coming weeks.

Market remains firm. Poor weather conditions in key growing areas, along with the Russia/Ukraine conflict has not only caused delays with the planting of the crops, but they have also caused risks of less yields being produced as well. Without improvement, expect corn crop prices to continue to rise to near-record levels.

Market is firm. Pricing remains high. This is a result of the short crops harvested in 2021 due to adverse weather conditions.

Current national shortage due to on-going labor shortages and supply chain issues.

Market is firm. Due to growing conditions having been described as “catastrophic” with periods of severe drought, production in Ghana has decreased by 31% over the previous year. Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer after the Ivory Coast. The United States is the largest buyer of cocoa beans from Ghana.

Market remains firm. Record heat in North America and the floods in Europe resulted in crop shortages that pushed prices of durum wheat to near-record levels. Along with the shortages that have been a worldwide issue for durum wheat, packers in Europe are now facing an increased cost of energy, which has increased by 400% vs 2021. The next harvest season is in July for Europe and October for North America.

Market is unsettled. COVID shutdowns in China continues to cause supply chain challenges. Recent government mandates have caused farmers to shift their focus from mandarins to rice, wheat, and grains in an effort to decrease their dependency on importing from other regions, such as the Zhejiang and Hubei regions, which both saw small harvests and were affected by freeze damage.

Market is varied. While as a whole the peach crop potential is positive, two frosts and a hail event in the Northern Peach District has caused concerns of crop yield being down nearly 9% over previous year. Due to the freezes and hail, the cherry yield is estimated to be at 65% of a typical crop yield.

Market is steady. Early plantings are growing and developing as anticipated.