This report represents information for the week ending October 8, 2021.

Market is unsettled. Total beef production for last week was up 3.4% versus the prior week and was up 1.4% compared to same time last year.  Total headcount for last week was 657,000 as compared to 637,000 for the same week last year.  Live weights for last week were up 3 lbs. from prior week but down 19 lbs. from same time last year.  The market has moved into a more unsettled tone with both higher and lower prices being seen from packers on multiple cuts over the past several days. This is not out of the ordinary for this time of year as packers look to get their inventories and production in line ahead the upcoming holiday season.  Available labor in the plants has been a concern for some time and is something to keep an eye on as we move thru the coming weeks.  Availability of Choice and higher graded product is expected to be in lighter supply over the coming weeks and is expected to put pressure on availability and upward pressure on pricing for those buyers seeking the higher graded product.  Forecasts are showing that beef production for Q4 will be below Q4 of last year and this combined with the falling grading percentages are expected to keep pressure on availability of product.   Some analysts are reporting that based on current trends average beef prices could trend up over 30% higher in prices for 4th quarter versus prior year.  Live cattle prices remain at high levels and have been trending well above the 5 years average for the past several months.  CME Futures contracts point to expectations of higher priced cattle as we move into early next year.  Lighter availability at the retail level has been reported and could have an impact on the market as retail buyers try to cover their needs over the coming weeks.  The drought conditions seen in many growing regions combined with high feed costs are leading to additional herd reductions with recent numbers showing that the herd has been reduced by 9% compared to last year.

Grinds- Market is unsettled.  Availability is mixed between packers and larger gaps in asking prices have been seen between suppliers with both higher and lower prices being seen as the week progressed.  Retail advertising is strong and helping to push demand.  Pricing levels are about 50% greater than same time last year.

Loins- Market is steady to weaker.  Demand has eased now that we have moved past the holiday and availability has become more mixed between packers.  This market typically sees downward pressure as we move thru the coming weeks as demand seasonally shifts to other cuts.

Rounds- Market is unsettled.  This market has been trending at very high levels for several months and well above last year and the 5 year average.  The market has been moving lower as we moved over the past few weeks as demand has been seasonally lighter.  This trend reversed course last week with the market moving higher.  This week has been both higher and lower prices based on availability between suppliers this week. This market typically seasonally moves higher as we move into 4th quarter and cooler temps set in across the country.

Chucks- Market is unsettled.  Inventories vary between packers with both higher and lower prices being seen as we moved thru this week.  This market typically sees upward pressure over the coming weeks as cooler weather sets in across the country.

Ribs- Market is unsettled.  This market has been moving lower over the past few weeks and the trend continued again this week with some items seeing large drops over the past couple of weeks.  Availability of choice product is more limited due to the grading percentages.  Typically this market is unsettled for the next few weeks before seeing upward pressure again as we move further into 4th quarter.  Some packers have already announced that they will be limited on product thru the holiday season this year.  This could result in additional pressure to already high prices.

Market is mixed. Total pork production for last week was 3.7% versus prior week but down 6.9% compared to same time last year.  Total headcount for last week was 2,597,000 as compared to 2,728,000 for the same week last year.  Live weights for last week were up 1 lb. from prior week and down 7 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 through 4th quarter.  October is National Pork month and advertising is typically very good during the month.  The USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report showed that as of September 1st there was a 4% decrease in hogs as well as a decline in weights.  These hogs will come to market at the end of this year and into 1st quarter next year.  The USDA also announced a reduction in breeding herd numbers, and this is expected to result in tighter hog supplies as we move thru next summer.

Bellies- Market is steady.  The market has been pushing higher over the past few weeks but has become more steady as we moved into this week.  Demand for bacon has been strong and keeping pressure on inventories.  Fresh belly inventories have been limited for several weeks and are helping to put upward pressure on the market.

Hams- Market is unsettled.  Availability is expected to be limited for the holidays this year.  Multiple packers are already maxed out and not accepting new opportunities on holiday based items.  Limited labor and raw material concerns are expected to help keep this market more unsettled as we move closer to the holidays.  Exports to Mexico have been strong over the past week helping to put additional pressure on the market.

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

Butts- Market is steady.  This market has been moving both higher and lower over the past several weeks due to spikes in demand and mixed availability.  Limited available labor is keeping availability on boneless items lighter than normal for this time of year.

Ribs- Market is unsettled.  This market has seen extreme highs for much of this year and has seen some relief over the past few weeks.  The lower prices over the past few weeks has helped to improve buying interest and the market has moved higher again as we moved through last week.  Labor issues remain a concern and are expected to keep the market more unsettled as we move thru the coming weeks.  Cold storage inventories remain very low and with production expected to be below last year as we move into next year.

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Market is weaker.  Total headcount for last week was 169,414,000 as compared to 168,293,000 for the same week last year.  Average weights for last week were 6.52 lbs. as compared to 6.48 lbs. for the same week last year.  Chick placements on fryers for week ending 11/13/21 are estimated at 157.8 million headcount.  Placements for previous week were 158.8 million and same week last year was 166.1 million.  Retail and foodservice activity is being reported as moderate to light.  Demand for WOGS remains consistent across all sizes.  Volume on tenders and boneless breasts is extremely soft for the second week in a row.  Demand for wings, drums, thighs, and dark meat is trending lighter.  Export activity for leg quarters and whole legs is rated as moderate.  The industry remains continues to have labor issues, but more and more plants are reporting improvements in worker headcounts.  The number of birds being processed weekly still remains slightly less than last year.  With the reduction in headcounts on a weekly basis, supply is not keeping pace with the current demand needs of the industry.  Floor stocks are now being reported as adequate.  Market levels are starting to correct downward on tenders, boneless breasts, and jumbo wings.

WOGS- Market is steady.  Retail deli and QSR business continues to be a consistent source of demand for the category.  All sizes are clearing well with limited spot load activity being reported.  Supply is tight, market remains stable.

Tenders- Market is weaker.  For the second straight week, demand has been soft.  Retail and foodservice activity is sluggish since price increases have been passed on to the consumer.  Supply is available and is being reported on the spot market.  Market levels are trending lower.

Boneless Breast- Market is weaker.  Retail and foodservice demand is rated as light.  Supply on all sizes is available and spot loads are being reported daily.  Market has been trending downward since the beginning of October.

Leg Quarters and Thighs- Market is steady.  The export channel is providing adequate demand on leg quarters and whole legs.  Retail sales on drums and thighs is stable and demand for boneless skinless thigh meat is strong.  Supply on bone-in parts is available while boneless skinless thigh meat remains tight.  Market levels are trending flat.

Wings- Market is steady to weaker.  Foodservice demand on jumbo wings is starting to correct and is being reported soft.  Further processor activity on medium and small sizes remains moderate to good.  Market levels on jumbo wings are being pressured downward while the smaller sizes are being supported.

 

Market is steady to firm.  Total headcount for last week was 4,328,000 as compared to 3,853,000 for the same week last year.  Average weights for last week were 31.77 lbs. as compared to 31.08 lbs. for the same week last year.  Whole birds remain a sold-out category as suppliers are now taking orders on fresh turkeys for the holiday shipping period.  Demand for the categories of breast meat, white trim, and tenders continue to be rated as moderate to very good.  Market activity for drums and thighs remains fair to moderate.  Export activity on back half parts remains moderate for this time of year.  The production side of the business continues to be constrained due to labor shortages.  Weekly production and slaughter rates remain down year over year which is keeping floor stocks extremely tight on all major categories.  Allocations continue to be reported.  Supply for whole birds is extremely limited, parts are limited, and white meats are tight.

Whole Birds- Market is steady to firm.  Fresh orders for the November and December timeframe are being reported as moderate to strong.  Suppliers are still packing frozen orders to fulfill shipments for the holidays while taking orders on fresh loads.  Spot loads are rare and are held with confidence by the suppliers.  Hen sizes are extremely hard to find.  Some Tom sizes in the 20 LB and up range are available.  Supply is tight and the market remains firm.

Breast Meat- Market is steady to firm.  Demand from the foodservice and retail deli channels remains moderate to strong.  Demand from further processors is strong they need to maintain their inventories on deli meats.  Supply is tight on white meats.  Frozen inventory remains low.  Market is firm on breast meat, white meat, and tenders.

Wings- Market is steady to weaker.  Export demand for whole wings is fair and domestic volume for 2 joints is moderate.  Limited production is keeping the supply side in balance with sales.  Market is experiencing some downward pressure.

Drums and Thigh Meat- Market is steady to firm.  Domestic and export activity for drums and thighs is moderate to fair.  Thigh meat demand remains strong as ground turkey sales remain vibrant in the retail channel.  Supply is available on bone in parts and tight on boneless thigh meat.  Market is flat.

Gulf Shrimp- Market is steady.    The market had been moving lower over the past few weeks as additional new season product makes its way into the market and has now become more steady as we moved into this week.  The USDA recently announced that they will be buying 4.6 million lbs. of shrimp from the region.  The National Marine Fisheries Service reported that Aug 2021 landings for were down 34.6% compared to same time last year and were the lowest August on record.  The year to date number thru August for 2021 is 25.7% lower than same time 2020.

Black Tiger Shrimp- Market is firm. Inventories are limited for a strong demand. 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.

White Shrimp- Market firm.  The market for product of Latin America had seen downward pressure a few short weeks ago but demand from buyers looking to cover their needs has put upward pressure on that market again.  The market for product of Asia remains firm and inventories are limited for an active demand. The lack of container availability combined with overall logistical challenges is putting a large amount of pressure on the market. Allocations to orders should be expected. Shrimp imports are trending higher but the strong demand for both retail and foodservice are keeping inventories limited.   Covid concerns in Asia are putting additional pressure on that market as production in that region is seeing additional impact from the spread of the virus.

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.

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.

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 mixed. The market for farmed product is mixed between growing regions.  The market for product from Europe is firm with limited inventories for an active demand.  Product from other regions are seeing steady to weaker markets due to a lighter demand.  The market for wild salmon is mixed between species with limited availability.

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 steady to firmer. 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 firmer. 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.

Domestic Catfish- Market is firm. Inventories have been limited for several months. Allocations remain commonplace and are anticipated as we move thru 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.

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.

Swai- Market is firmer. 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.

Scallops- Market is steady but firm. The domestic market has seen upward pressure on all sizes over the past few weeks as some fisheries have already closed for the season.  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.

Market is weaker.  The CME Block & Barrel softened and trended downwards this week. Inventories vary by region. Labor shortages continue to create conflicts for plant scheduling. Plants are doing all they can to keep production running at seven days per week, despite the challenges. The challenges at the ports in the West are ongoing and continue to keep inventories tight. This has become the new norm.

Market is firmer this week as the CME pricing trended upwards over the prior week. Cream inventories are tighter. Some butter makers are sourcing product from the West due to local supplies being more expensive. Delays in receiving packaging supply orders are something manufacturers continue to contend with. Food service orders vary as the restaurant segment is seeing reductions in their dine-in customers due to rising COVID cases. Retail sales continue to be strong and are only increasing. Northeast markets are dealing with uncertainty with production due to trucking and labor shortages. The ensuing holiday season will be a challenge as butter makers work to ensure demands will be met. Labor and staffing are hampering production in the Central region of the U.S. While hiring has improved, the challenge will be the time it takes in training new employees. Although the market softened this week, the expectation of a more bullish market is one to be prepared for. Cream in the West is tight, but needs are being met. Packaging supply delays are prevalent, with orders for boxes, paper and foil projected to take anywhere from several weeks or several months to be fulfilled. Labor shortages and logistical challenges continues to have an effect on production across all regions.

Market is steady to weaker.  Retail demand is being reported as moderate to soft.  West Coast demand is steady while East Coast demand continues to be reported as light.  So far this October, consumer baking trends are being reported as soft.  Foodservice activity is being reported as fair to good.  QSR demand remains the most consistent channel of business due to consumer breakfast trends.  Supply is available on both medium and large sizes.   Market is trending steady on medium sizes and lower on large sizes.  National weekly shell egg inventory reports shell egg inventory up 1.4% over last week.

Market is weaker. Recent reports are showing a “better than expected” yield, which resulted in an oil price decrease. However, the market is still very volatile, so that trend is not something that is anticipated to continue. Biofuel numbers were increased, which means more soybean production will be for fuel use. This will have a direct effect on food companies as they face pressures of getting oil and paying a higher price for it. Canola crop yields continue to lag behind, which continues to keep soybean supply tight. Rains in the U.S. Corn belt this week slowed harvest in some areas. Ports in the Gulf are opened now after damages caused by Hurricane Ida, however labor continues to be a significant challenge. Transportation woes continue to be of concern as well (lack of drivers and elevated freight rates).  Rising COVID Delta-variant cases continue to have an impact.

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. Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. Arkansas, which produces 50% of the nation’s rice crop is currently at 65% complete. 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.

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The market remains firm. Domestic cane supply is decreasing rapidly as all are waiting for the new crop to be harvested. Recent hurricanes limited supply from the Southeast and so supply is expected to be tight through year end. Domestic beat sugar supply is limited as well until the new pack is completed. Current yields are looking positive, however with increased demand, the prices are not expected to soften soon. Imported sugar out of Mexico is soft and the likelihood of that changing is slim, therefore the markets are expected to remain tight. South American raw sugar supply is typically refined by domestic suppliers, however there is not enough supply at this time. The backup at the seaports is having a great impact the available quantity.

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 Delta variant surge in cases has added concerns for coffee supplies.

Several factors are going to come into play for the outlook on costs for domestic canned goods for the 2021 pack season. Produce costs are up over last year driven by the price of soybeans and field corn. The cost of steel is in tight supply and will have a direct impact on the cost on #10 cans. Labor is in high demand and driving costs up as well as freight is higher than last year.