This report represents information for the week ending January 14, 2021.

Market is firmer. Total beef production for last week was up 15.5% versus the prior week due to shortened holiday production but was down 5.3% compared to same time last year. Total headcount for last week was 620,000 as compared to 652,000 for the same week last year.  Live weights for last week were up 1 lb. from prior week but down 7 lbs. from same time last year.  Live prices remain at higher levels and is well above the norm for this time of the year.  Available labor in the plants has been a concern for some time and is something to keep an eye on as we move further into 2022.  The recent surge in Covid cases has impacted multiple plants this week due to a high number of absent employees.  This has caused multiple issues this week from limited availability of items to transportation issues resulting from trucks leaving late from the plants.  On time delivery percentages were very low to start this week, with it not being uncommon for some trucks to be more than a day or more late.  Production had already seen a large reduction over the holidays, and this combined with the events this week are putting upward pressure on the market.  Extreme weather is being seen across much of the country and expected to impact logistics and deliveries.

Grinds- Market is firmer.  Grinds typically see upward pressure as we move into January each year with the reduced production weeks due to the holidays and improved demand.  The additional pressure of the reduced production this week has put added pressure on the market.

Loins- Market is steady to firmer.  Demand is typically lighter for loins this time of the year, but light inventories are helping to keep pressure on the market.

Rounds- Market is firmer.  Buying activity is good and the reduced production is putting additional pressure on the market.

Chucks- Market is firmer.  Demand is improving with retail advertising expected to be good over the coming weeks.

Ribs- Market is firmer. Demand is typically lighter as we move into the new year following the strong demand time of the holiday season.  The market has seen softening over the past few weeks as packers tried to get inventories more in line with anticipated demand.  The market has become a little more unsettled as we moved through this week with large gaps in pricing between suppliers due in part to availability but with the overall market seeing upward pressure.

Market is mixed. Total pork production for last week was up 17.9% versus prior week due to shortened holiday production but was down 10.9% compared to same time last year.  Total headcount for last week was 2,578,000 as compared to 2,829,000 for the same week last year.  Live weights for last week were even with prior week and but were down 5 lbs. from same time last year.  Labor issues continue to be a concern at multiple plants along with transportation challenges.  Shortages and allocations are commonplace and are expected to continue as we move further into this year.  Reduced production due to less hogs and reduced labor combined with a strong fresh pork market through then end of last year has limited the opportunity to build inventories.  Reduced production schedules due to the holidays put additional pressure on availability and issues related to Covid continues to have an impact on labor as we moved into this week.  Concerns related to PROP 12 legislation in California are expected to limit availability of items to that region over the coming weeks.  New cases of African Swine Fever continue to pop up around the world with additional cases reported in both Europe and Asia over the past couple of weeks.

Bellies- Market is firmer.  This market has pushed higher over the past few weeks.  There remain issues with labor and being able to process product into bacon and this is keeping product limited and on allocation with multiple suppliers.  The reduced production weeks during the holidays has put additional pressure on availability.

Hams- Market is weaker.  The ham market has seen large swings in pricing over the past several weeks.  Demand for the holidays had been keeping pressure on the market and that activity is now over but the next seasonal push is just around the corner as buyers look to cover their needs for the upcoming Easter holiday.  Limited labor is keeping continued pressure on this market.  Several suppliers have had reduced availability for several months and this trend is expected to continue as we move further into 2022.

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

Butts- Market is steady.  The market had been pushing higher as we moved into 2022.  This week has seen the market has held a steadier tone.  Limited available labor is keeping availability on boneless items lighter than normal.

Ribs- Market is firmer.  Labor issues remain a concern and are expected to keep the market more unsettled as we move through the coming weeks.  Cold storage inventories remain very low and production is expected to be below last year as we move into next year.

Market is steady to firmer.  Total headcount for week ending 1/8/22 was 163,246,000 as compared to 169,756,000 for the same week last year.  Average weights for last week were 6.37 lbs. as compared to 6.36 lbs. for the same week last year.  Chick placements on fryers for week ending 2/12/22 are estimated at 162.5 million headcount.  Placements for previous week were 163.3 million and same week last year was 160.6 million.  Retail and foodservice business is reported as mostly moderate.  High demand for WOGS and whole birds continues to be the trend.  Demand on boneless breast and tenders remains vibrant.  Activity on wings, drums, thighs, and dark meat is steady is fair.  Export business on leg quarters and whole legs is moderate to good.  Processing schedules continue to be reported as reduced due to labor and Covid challenges.  Hatch rates continue to underperform and the number of birds being processed on a weekly basis continues to lag behind pre-pandemic levels.  Floor stocks are being reported as sufficient.  Market levels on WOGS are being pressured slightly higher.  Boneless breasts, tenders, wings, and dark meats are steady to firm.

WOGS- Market is steady to firmer.  In an inflationary economy, rotisserie chickens and 8pc cutups provide a good cost value relationship for the consumer.  Strong retail deli and fast-food sales are being reported.  All sizes continue to clear well with limited spot availability.  Market is still getting upside pressure.

Tenders- Market is firm.  Foodservice and QSR business is being reported as strong.  Lack of labor continues to limit weekly supply and portioning capacity.  Market levels on select and jumbo sizes remain firm.

Boneless Breast- Market is firmer.  Retail and foodservice demand is very strong and continues to be on an upward trend.  Retail grocery has medium sizes product sold up and the foodservice channel has the jumbo and select sizes clearing well.  Supply is tight on all sizes.  Market continues to rise.

Leg Quarters and Thighs- Market is steady.  Export volume for leg quarters and whole legs is rated as moderate to good.  Future orders are steady and giving the category an adequate base.  Domestic demand for drums, thighs, and boneless thigh meat is trending steady.  Supply is limited and the market levels are flat.

Wings- Market is steady.  Foodservice volume continues to be vibrant as we are in the middle of wing season.  Consumer demand for pizza and wings is expected to trend strong for the next two months or more.  Supply is mostly sold up.  Market levels remain firm.

 

Market is steady to firmer.  Total headcount for week ending 1/8/22 was 3,425,000 as compared to 3,909,000 for the same week last year.  Average weights for last week were 33.82 lbs. as compared to 33.25 lbs. for the same week last year.  The booking period for whole birds is fully underway and market levels are being supported.  Demand needs for breast meat, white trim, and tenders is strong and trending higher.  The balance of parts remains moderate to start the year.  Export demand for back half parts is adequate.  Weekly production and slaughter rates are limited due to the current labor situation.  Floor stocks are light on all major categories.  Whole birds remain tight, white meats are tight, and parts are limited.

Whole Birds- Market is firm.  Current deliveries are being reported as soft, but that is typical for this time of year.  Customers are booking their holiday whole birds earlier than normal this year.  Very few spot loads are being reported.  Supply is tight, market is mostly flat.

Breast Meat- Market is firmer.  The demand from retail deli and foodservice is reported as strong and continues to improve by the week.  Supply remains tight on fresh white meats and frozen inventory is scarce.  With finite raw supply and increased weekly demand, the market is being pressured higher.

Wings- Market is steady.  Export demand for whole wings is adequate while domestic volume on 2 joints is on the rise.  Supply is available and the market is flat.

Drums and Thigh Meat- Market is steady.  Export demand for back half parts is steady and providing an adequate base of demand.  Domestic activity on drums has been soft, but is starting to show some improvement.  Thigh meat demand is strong due to vibrant sales of ground turkey from the retail channel.  Supply for parts and thigh meat is limited.  Market is holding steady.

Gulf Shrimp- Market is firm.  Inventories are limited for current demand and an improvement in inventories is not expected until spring.

Black Tiger Shrimp- Market is unsettled. Inventories are limited. Allocations to orders should be expected.  Production costs and logistical concerns are putting pressure on the market. Delays on imports are putting additional pressure on this market.  Replacement inventories have been difficult to come by for several months.   The market tone is becoming more unsettled as a large amount of volume for this market goes into foodservice and Covid concerns could impact dining expectations over the coming weeks.

White Shrimp- Market is unsettled.  The market for product from Latin America has seen upward pressure due to increases in raw material costs.  The market for product of Asia is becoming more unsettled as inventories have been building over the past few weeks with additional product in transit between Asia and the US.  The past few days have seen pricing mixed between suppliers based on available inventories and increasing concerns of impacts from Covid on dining.

King Crab- Market is steady but firm. Inventories are limited for an active demand. Global demand is strong and putting pressure on the market.  This market has been firm for several months due to the limited availability and strong demand.

Snow Crab- Market is firm. The quota for the upcoming Alaskan season has been announced and there is an 88% reduction compared to prior year.  This is putting upward pressure on the market and suppliers are managing their current inventories closely.  This market is at very high levels and well above normal for this time of the year.

Warm Water Lobster Tails- Market is firm. The market has continued to push higher over the past several weeks as the active demand is keeping pressure on limited inventories.  Allocations to orders are common due to the limited inventories.  New season product is making its way into the market but the brisk demand has helped to prevent inventories from building.  The market is becoming more unsettled due to the record high prices.  Imports have been trending well below prior year.

North American Lobster Tails- Market is firm. Demand has been strong for several weeks and is putting pressure on very limited inventories. Seasonal plant closures combined with poor fishing conditions have caused more limited availability. Shorts and allocations to orders should be expected.  The market is at record high levels.

Salmon- Market is firmer. The market for farmed product has seen upward pressure over the past several weeks.  Reports of Covid issues at plants combined with an Algae issue in Chile is pushing the market higher.  The market for wild salmon is mixed between species with limited availability.  The Wild Alaskan season is over for the year and there are concerns on multiple salmon types.  The Coho catch came in 50% below the 5-year average.  The Sockeye catch looked good when you look at fish count but the fish were very small in size this year and in lbs. is the lowest catch since 2014.  The Keta catch was larger than prior year but was over 40% lower than 2019 and processors are seeing quality issues with some of the catch.  It is possible that supplies will run short of demand as we move through 1st quarter of 2022.

Cod- Market is firm. Product out of the Pacific is seeing inventories concerns with a strong demand that has been keeping pressure on inventories for several months. Foodservice demand is very good. There are also delays with production coming back out of China putting additional pressure on the market.

Flounder- Market is steady to firmer. 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 to the market.

Pollock- Market is firm. Larger sized product is in limited supply due to recent catches being more on smaller sized fish. Production delays in China are putting additional pressure on the market with reports of port delays backing up shipping lanes.  The Wild Alaskan season catch numbers have been announced and will be 25% below prior year.  These are the lowest numbers seen in over a decade.  Current inventories are already limited and upward pressure is expected on the market as we move closer to Lent.

Domestic Catfish- Market is firm. Inventories have been limited for several months. Allocations remain commonplace and are anticipated as we move through 4th quarter. Inventories are limited on all sizes and well below current demand.  Supply issues with imported product is putting additional pressure on the market as that market is seeing record high prices with orders severely delayed or cancelled all together.  The imported market has been facing challenges over the past few months with high pricing and limited availability and this is putting additional pressure on the domestic market.

Tilapia- Market is firmer. Higher production and logistical costs are putting pressure on the market. Shipment delays on product coming out of China are expected to continue over the coming months. Buying activity has been very good and keeping pressure on already light inventories.  Larger sized fish are in lighter supplier due to drought conditions and farmers having to empty their ponds sooner than normal.  Recent reports show that availability of smaller sized fish it going to be very limited over the coming weeks as farmers try to restock their ponds.

Swai- Market is firm. Foodservice demand continues to improve across the country, and this is putting upward pressure on the market. Logistical concerns remain an issue with higher freight costs and longer lead times on both ocean freight and trucking. Inventories have become more limited with larger sizes seeing the most pressure. Farmers have been trying to turn their ponds faster to keep up with demand and this is resulting in smaller sized fish.  Covid issues in Vietnam have closed multiple plants and helping to push the market higher as availability is expected to become tighter over the coming weeks.  Recent reports show that some plants have been running at around 20% of capacity.

Scallops- Market is steady to firmer.  Global demand is strong with demand from Europe being very strong and putting additional pressure on the market. The domestic market has seen upward pressure on all sizes over the past several weeks with light inventories for a strong demand.  The market for imports is steady to firmer with product from Canada seeing upward pressure due to limited availability and product from China continues to see shipping delays.  Product from Japan is seeing upward pressure due in part to the strong demand from Europe.

Cheese 

Market is firm. Both the CME Block and Barrel Markets are trending higher this week. In the Northeast, cheese production is active. There has been a leveling out between supply and demand. Retail demand continues to be strong, while Food Service demand is declining as more restaurants are having to deal with short staff or temporary closures due to rising Covid cases. High freight rates and the lack of available trucks continue to cause load delays. In the Midwest cheese supply is continuing to keep up with the increasing post-holiday demand. The one concern centers around varying production rates from plant to plant due to employee availability, which is being reported as adequate to short. In the West, Retail demand is strong and Food Service demand seems to be increasing. Severe weather in some parts of the West, along with port congestion and truck driver shortages are causing delays of cheese and supplies. Staffing shortages continue to be a cause for concern.

Cream Cheese

Market is firm.  Inventories are very 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 very light as we move through Quarter 1 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 firm.  The CME Butter Market is trending higher this week. In the Northeast, re-opening schools and processing plants have created a surge in demand that is dwindling cream inventories butter manufacturers had built up over the holiday season. Plants are prioritizing contracted customer needs as they limit churning. Both Retail and Food Service demand is strong. In the Central part of the region, in-house cream inventories are rapidly declining with the holidays in the rear. Cream cheese producers are pulling heavier from the cream pool, as they work to increase their inventories. Cream is available in the West, however there are facilities having trouble securing product because of severe weather and truck driver shortages. Retail and Food Service demand remain strong.

Market is weaker.  East Coast volume continues to trend soft and underperform the rest of the country.  West Coast and regional demand is being reported as moderate to good.  Retail activity is reported as mostly steady.  Shopping trends have become unpredictable due to Covid measures being implemented across the country.  Foodservice and QSR sales are reported as mostly steady.  Supply is available on both medium and large sizes.  Processing schedules are reduced due to labor issues.  Market is trending lower on both medium sizes and large sizes.  National weekly shell egg inventory reports shell egg inventory up 1.8% over last week.

Market is firm. Weather is the big story. Argentina is hot. Southern Brazil is hot. Rain is needed particularly by the end of the month to produce a suitable crop. In North America, the focus is on logistics as snowstorms have begun.

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.

Harvesting for the new crop is being completed.  Total planted rice acreage is down 16% year over year.  Long grain production has seen a 15% decline versus last year.  Medium grain supply is down nearly 13% year over year.  This is due to the drought conditions affecting California agricultures.  Export sales of rough rice and milled white and brown rice are outpacing last year’s sales.  With the increase in exports sales and a smaller crop supply, firmer prices are expected.

Beet Sugar

Market is firm.  Despite a summer of concerns about drought in key growing areas, high levels of late season rains and favorable weather has led to a much healthier than expected crop.  The November WASDE report is showing record levels of beet sugar production.  Despite this, refined sugar remains tight in the U.S. due to issues with cane production.  Logistical barriers continue to make it difficult to move sugar at the rate needed to provide supply relief to the U.S. market.

Cane Sugar

Market is firm.  As the beet crop improved the cane crop worsened as expected in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida that damaged major sections of cane growing areas in Louisiana.  On top of this, there is a major logjam of raw cane imports struggling to find their way into the U.S. as ocean going vessels wait for port congestion to clear.  Some refiners that rely heavily on imports are having major challenges running their refineries at the rates needed to supply their demand due to a shortage of raw sugar on site.  This paired with rising costs on inbound truck freight and packaging/pallet shortages is leading to increased costs around the country for cane sugar and widening the spread between beet and cane sugar prices.

Market is firm.  Brazil was hit by two frost events causing extensive damage to coffee bean crops.  Some of the extensive damage may cause farmers to replant trees which could take years to produce. It is important to note that the situation of the ground in Brazil continues to evolve.  The lockdown in Vietnam because of the Delta variant surge in cases has added concerns for coffee supplies.

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 very early in Q1 2022. Replenishment will be with the new pack will in June.  Allocations and cuts to orders should be expected as we move thru the coming weeks.

Market is firm.  Due to severe drought conditions in some regions and excessive rain in others this past growing season, the corn crop was short expectations and suppliers are projected to start running out of supply very early in Q1 2022. Replenishment will not happen until new pack in August.  Allocations and cuts to orders should be expected as we move thru the coming weeks.