This report represents information for the week ending December 4, 2020.

Market is unsettled.  Total beef production for last week was down 15.2% versus prior week due to the shortened holiday production schedules.  Production was up 2.2% compared to same time last year.  Year to date total production is down 1% compared to year to date 2019.  Total headcount for last week was 564,000 as compared to 555,000 for the same week last year.  Year to date headcount is 29.293,000 as compared to 30,349,000 for year to date 2019.  Live weights for last week were up 1 lb from prior week and up 8 lbs versus same time last year. Buying activity has been out of the norm for this time of the year as generally buying focus is on other proteins for the Thanksgiving time frame.  Retail demand has been very strong and some of this has been related to recommendations for smaller get togethers during the holiday season due to Covid.  This helped to change normal seasonal buying patterns as consumers looked for smaller sized servings as well as many stepped outside of traditional holiday protein buying patterns with beef seeing a surge in demand at retail.  This combined with additional dining restrictions across the country is putting additional pressure on Retail demand.  Labor remains a concern across the country as Covid safety protocols continue to put pressure on the available work force.  Multiple plants for both beef and pork have been impacted over the past several weeks.  Production will become more limited over the coming weeks as the holiday weeks at the end of the year will also have reduced production schedules.

Grinds- Market is unsettled.  The market has seen mixed prices as we moved into this week with both higher and lower asking prices seen between the packers.  Overall inventories are reported as light with additional product being limited with some packers. Pricing typically becomes seasonally firmer over the coming weeks on both demand and more limited availability due to the reduced production.

Loins- Market is unsettled.  Buying interest has been good coming into the past few weeks but has been more steady this week.  Demand seasonally moves lighter over the coming weeks, but this year has not been the norm for seasonal patterns thus far.

Rounds- Market is unsettled.  Buying activity had been very good thru last week but this week has seen downward pressure on the market as we moved thru the week as buying activity has been more mixed.

Chucks- Market is mixed.  The market has seen both higher and lower prices over the past few days as demand has been mixed between suppliers.

Ribs- Market is unsettled.  This season has been out of the norm with the normal increases in pricing not being seen earlier this season due in part to concerns related to Covid.  This market has seen an abrupt change over the past few weeks as buying interest has become very brisk and has seen the market take large jumps higher in pricing. Typically, the market sees large drops over the coming weeks as demand normally eases as we move closer to year end.  This year has not followed the typical seasonally trends and is causing the market to be more unsettled.

Market is unsettled.  Total pork production for last week was down 13% versus prior week due to the shortened holiday production schedules.  Production was up 2.9% compared to same time last year.  Year to date total production is up 1.8% compared to year to date 2019.  Total headcount for last week was 2,350,000 as compared to 2,322,000 for same week last year.  Year to date headcount is 118,778,000 as compared to 117,869,000 for year to date 2019.  Live weights for last week were even with prior week and up 5 lbs when compared with same time last year.   Labor issues remain a concern with Covid safety protocols in place across the country.   Multiple beef and pork plants have been impacted over the past several weeks.  Production is expected to be lighter over the coming weeks with the upcoming holiday weeks impacted with reduced work schedules.  Retail buying activity has been strong as additional Covid restrictions continue to be announced.

Bellies- Market is firmer.  The recent lower prices have helped to spur buying interest and helping to put upward pressure on the market as we moved into this week.

Hams- Market is firmer.  Demand has been very good for several weeks now.  Unlike the rest of the pork market, demand for hams has been good and keeping pressure on the market ahead of the holiday season.  Year to date exports on ham are up 83% compared to prior year.  Demand from China has been almost triple from prior year.  There have been reports that multiple plants have not been able to keep up with the surge in demand for hams over the past several weeks.

Loins- Market is mostly steady.  Inventories are mixed between packers.

Butts- Market is weaker.  Buying activity has been very good at retail and helping to move additional inventories.  This week has seen demand ease slightly and the market has eased lower.

Ribs- Market is unsettled.  The market has seen upward pressure over last week but has become more unsettled with mixed inventories between suppliers.  Inventories in cold storage are at low levels and helping to put additional pressure on the market.

Market is steady.  Total headcount for last week was 133,741,000 as compared to 129,887,000 for the same week last year.  Average weights for last week were 6.20 lbs. as compared to 6.23 lbs. for the same week last year.  Chick placements on fryers for week ending 1/2/21 are estimated at 157.3 million headcount.  Placements for previous week were 155.3 million and same week last year was 162.3 million.  Coming out of the holiday, retail business is being reported as moderate to good.  Production schedules on a daily basis are normal to reduced.  Demand remains steady for WOGS, breast meat, tenders, and wings.  Export volume for leg quarters and dark meat is consistent.  Supply is available across most categories.  Tenders and wings are tight due to active demand.

WOGS- Market is steady.  Retail deli and fast food QSR’s tend to have an uptick in volume as consumers hit the streets doing their Christmas shopping.  All sizes of WOGS continue to clear well.  Reduced processing is keeping the supply side tight.  Market remains supported.

Tenders- Market is steady to firm.  Fast food and retail demand is active.  Limited processing is keeping inventories on jumbo and select sizes limited.  Supply is tight and market is being pressured.

Boneless Breast- Market is steady.  Retail demand is reported as good as consumers resume typical shopping habits after a major holiday.  Reduced production schedules continue to keep offerings limited.  Market is trending sideways.

Leg Quarters and Thighs- Market is steady.  Domestic and export activity for leg quarters remains steady.  Supply is available and market remains mostly unchanged.

Wings- Market is steady to firm.  Foodservice demand for wings continues to be strong.  Carry out and curbside pick-up business is a hot trend at the current time.  Small and medium sizes are highly sought after by further processors.  Supply remains tight on all sizes and market is firm.

Market is steady to weaker.  Total headcount for last week was 2,375,000 as compared to 1,753,000 for the same week last year.  Average weights for last week were 34.03 lbs. as compared to 34.03 lbs. for the same week last year.  With the Thanksgiving holiday in the rear-view mirror, the market is starting to change a bit.  Demand for frozen whole birds is on the downswing.  Demand for boneless breast meat is light and the parts segment is reported as moderate.  Export demand for drums and wings is adequate for industry standards.  Supply for whole birds is starting to improve depending on the bird size.  Supply for breast meat is available while bone-in parts are tight.

Whole Birds- Market is steady to weaker.  Fresh orders are reported as good for December.  Frozen orders are reported as steady to weak for December depending on the size requested.  Supply is becoming more available on frozen product; fresh availability is still tight.

Breast Meat- Market is steady to weaker.  Retail deli and foodservice demand has dropped slightly as we move into the winter months.  Demand for fresh breast meat is steady to weak while frozen product is slow.  Supply is available on both fresh and frozen product.  Market is being pressured downward.

Wings- Market is steady.  Market demand for wings is moderate with 2 joints wings being highly popular.  Supply is limited and market remains firm.

Drums and Thigh Meat- Market is steady.  Domestic and export activity for drums is consistent with tom sizes more sought after.  Ground turkey has gotten an uptick in retail sales as consumers stock their freezers.  Supply is tight and market remains firm.

Gulf Shrimp- Market is unsettled.    The National Marine Fisheries Service released the catch numbers for October showing as decline of 33% compared to October of last year.  Year to do catch numbers thru October are down 16.7% compared to same time last year.  This number is almost 30% below the 5-year average.  Tropical storms have had an impact on fishing and production this year.  Inventories are more limited due to the lighter catch numbers and putting pressure on prices.  Ongoing concerns related to Covid are helping to keep the market more unsettled as demand has been varied across the country.

Black Tiger Shrimp- Market is mixed.    The market remains in the same trends that have been seen for several weeks.  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.  The market for product from Latin America has seen some downward pressure due in part to a large amount of imports coming in from Ecuador.  The market for product from Asia is mostly steady this week with a seasonally light demand.  The overall market remains unsettled due to concerns related to Covid as additional regions across the country tightening restrictions over the past few weeks.

King Crab- Market is steady but firm.  Global demand has been strong for several weeks and keeping pressure on limited inventories.

Snow Crab- Market is firm.  Demand is very active while inventories remain limited.  Product from Canada is limited and putting pressure on inventories of product from other regions.

Warm Water Lobster Tails- Market is steady to firmer.  The recent hurricanes that impacted Central America have slowed production out of that area and putting additional pressure on the market.  Foodservice demand has been light for several weeks, but Retail demand has been good and helping to move inventories.

North American Lobster Tails- Market is unsettled.  Demand for Live Lobsters has been very robust for several months and has been keeping pressure on the market.  Demand the past few weeks has been seasonally lighter and this combined with concerns related to Covid dining restrictions has made the market more unsettled.  Fishing in Canada has been slow to get started in multiple areas due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Salmon- Market is mixed.  The market for product from Chile has moved higher as we moved into this week due to an improved demand compared to the past few weeks.  The market for product for Europe has also seen upward pressure coming into this week with product from Scotland seeing the most pressure this week.  Other regions are seeing steady to slightly lower markets this week with a fair to light demand.

Cod- Market is unsettled.  Covid is having an impact on overall demand as additional dining restrictions are impacting multiple regions across the country.  Recent reports show that delays in shipments of imports are possible over the coming weeks due to heightened inspections due to Covid.

Flounder- Market is unsettled.  Inventories vary between suppliers, but overall demand has become lighter helping to keep the market more unsettled.

Haddock- Market is mostly steady.  Inventories are good for a fair demand.  Icelandic Fishing Quotas have been increased 9% for the 20/21 season.  Demand has been below expectations due to concerns related to Covid.

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 have the market in a more unsettled tone

Domestic Catfish- Market is unsettled.  Production has been lighter than expectations and keeping pressure on availability.  Shorts and allocations to orders have been commonplace.  Pricing has been at higher levels for several months now.  Retail demand has been very strong for months.

Tilapia- Market is steady to firmer.  Increasing shipping costs combined with higher raw material costs are putting upward pressure on replacement inventories overseas.  Demand has been improved over the past few weeks putting additional pressure on the market.

Swai- Market is steady.  The current market is holding mostly steady but raw material costs overseas have been increasing and this combined with increasing ocean freight costs are putting upward pressure on replacement inventories overseas.  Demand is fair.

Scallops- Market is steady.

Market is unsettled. The CME block market moved lower this week while the barrel market moved both higher and lower. Demand across the country is lighter. Supply of milk is plentiful. Overall production is generally steady.  The October Cold Storage Report showed total natural cheese stocks down slightly from the prior month. In the northeast production schedules are running at a strong pace. The retail segment has been advertising heavily on a variety of cheese items. Midwestern producers report Covid related staffing issues from production to office staff. Production, however, remains ongoing. In the west demand is mixed. Retail and pizza segments report solid demand. Foodservice demand remains weak. Production is active with inventories reported as available.

Market is firmer. The CME butter market moved higher this week. Across the country butter production has been mixed by region. Cream supply is ample is most areas. Demand is busy on the retail side while foodservice continues to struggle.  The October Cold Storage Report indicates total butter stocks in October 2020 were up 28 percent over the same month in the prior year. In the northeast inventories are adequate for needs. Many producers are trying to avoid excess inventories as the new year approaches. For the central region cream is plentiful. Retail segment demand has been heavy. Production is mixed. Western region producers report available cream supply as they work to manage year end production. Inventories appear to be adequate for needs. Demand for bulk butter is light.

 

Market is weaker.  Retail demand is being reported as moderate to soft.  Some regional ad activity is being reported, but overall retail activity appears to be slow this week.  Foodservice volume remains slow and varies greatly by region of the country.  Fast food volume is steady and could see an uptick in demand as consumers do their holiday shopping over the next week.  Supply is available in both medium and large sizes.  Market is trending lower on the medium size and lower on the large sizes.  National weekly shell egg inventory reports shell egg inventory up 5.8% over last week.

Market is steady to weaker.  The soy market showed a small bit of correction this week based on news that the South American crop may be better than expected.  Export demand is still strong and higher domestic usage from the renewable diesel sector is creating added demand.  Overseas buyers continue to use U.S. market as a stable source for availability.  Based on industry reporting; rainfall in Brazil is improving, but final expectations are an unknown.  The market is being pressured.

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. Supply imbalance continues as medical industry glove demand remains in high priority. The result is significant shortages to other industries and supply disruption for other glove types. Nitrile supply issues are expected to continue for the near-term. Demand across the globe for nitrile is up to 400% higher than in recent years. Vinyl gloves continue to be affected by government orders taking up available capacity. Quality concerns have begun to surface as fraudulent brands have made their way into the supply chain. Challenges are ongoing for ocean freight as warehouses and ports struggle to manage a glut of empty containers.

Resin markets are firmer. With multiple Hurricanes and Tropical storms in recent months, facilities serving the plastics industry have been damaged by flooding. Additionally, manufacturers have dealt with logistics issues as well as power outages. Some plants which produce resin for manufacturing were offline at times for repairs. With already tight markets, the result has been limited supply on PE resin raw materials. When coupled with high demand for single-serve disposables products as a result of Covid, markets have grown firmer. Tight supply could remain a challenge for the immediate future.