Its the WEEK for…

Author: Erika Eckley

Date: November 30, 2018

PROTEIN

Beef:
  • Loins- Just Steady
  • Rounds- Steady to Higher
  • Chucks-  Just Steady
  • Ribs- Steady to Higher
  • Grinds- Steady
Chicken:
  • Whole broiler/fryer prices are mixed. Supplies of all sizes are light to moderate.
  • Retail and food service demand is light to moderate.
  • Floor stocks are adequate to sometimes heavier than desired.
  • Market activity is seasonally slow to moderate.
  • In the parts structure, The market on wings is mixed with some holding product with more confidence than others, balance of items are generally steady.
  • Offerings of all parts ranged moderate to heavy.
  • In production areas, live supplies are moderate; weights are generally desirable.
Pork:
  • Hams- Steady
  • Butts- Steady
  • Ribs- Steady
  • Trim- Firm
  • Loins- Steady to Soft
Turkey:
  • The market on fresh tom breast meat is steady with a steady to weak undertone, balance of white meats and white trims generally steady. Demand and offerings light to mostly moderate.
  • The market on 4-8 lb. breasts is steady with a steady to weak undertone. The institutional sized bone-in breasts market is steady. Demand and offerings light to moderate.
  • The market on frozen tom bulk parts is generally steady. Demand and offerings light to moderate.
  • The market on fresh thigh meat is generally steady while frozen is steady to weak. Demand light to moderate.
  • Thigh meat offerings light to moderate with frozen the most available. The mechanically separated turkey market is steady to weak, mostly steady to barely steady. Demand light to moderate. Offerings mostly moderate. Trading slow.

SEAFOOD

Shrimp:
  • Shrimp prices in Asia have slipped as demand has weakened due to heavy level of imports into the United States. Supply in India has improved over the last few months as the second crop is being harvested. Total Shrimp imports into the United States are up 4.2% over 2017. Packers in all producing countries are not holding enough orders as the prices requested over the last three months still do not match needed levels for the US market. Chinese demand is better now that prices have declined. Sales in the United States remain in a good. Retail promotion remains strong. Almost all items are well supplied and holdings in the cold storage’s remain extremely high.
Atlantic Cod:
  • Raw materials still between $4600 and $4650/mt. No speculation on prices after Chinese New Year (CNY), we anticipate them to settle in January depending on the catch and quota in Norway. Twice frozen loin pricing is very strong at $4.05/lb in Urner Barry, which is set to rise again as loins enter the USA at the new raw material pricing. Sizing is consistent, no problems
    acquiring all sizes.
Pacific Cod:
  • Raw materials from Russia have dropped to around $3400/MT for FAS J-Cut, shore frozen is around $2800. We have heard that Pacific Cod loin pricing could soften, but the market still seems to be high in the USA – Urner Barry is still at a high of $3.80/lb, which it’s been at since March.
Haddock:
  • No change from last week. Still hearing strong pricing into all markets – the USA market is tough with the new tariffs. UB Index is showing $3.80 but that must be off old inventory before Tariffs – it’s up over $4 now on fillets.
Pollock:
  • Russian pricing is still strong, another $60/mt increase since September. After the Qingdao show there is speculation on Pollock raw materials dropping but we won’t see this affect the twice frozen fillet market until about April as processors have everything they need until CNY.
*Information provided by Wolverine Packing*

DAIRY:

Cheese:
  • Following a recovery period on CME cheese markets throughout last week, Thanksgiving week has wreaked havoc on any short-lived gains.
  • Contacts were anxious of markets finding a longer-term bullishness, and they are far from resting comfortably after the short weeks downward movements.
  • Holiday retail cheese advertisements are running full bore, and food service orders for pizza style cheeses are keeping mozzarella and provolone producers busy.
  • Conversely, Northeastern and Midwestern contacts suggest some cheesemakers are taking extra days off, more so than in prior Thanksgiving weeks.
  • This has led to more discounted milk making its way into the vats of producers who are running normal or heavier production schedules.
Butter:
  • While some butter plant managers across the nation are planning to close facilities for the remainder of the current holiday week, others anticipate being busy producing butter.
  • In the East, cream supplies are becoming more accessible for churning.
  • In the Central region, specifically the Midwest, micro fixing continues to be the main butter output method as milk fat supplies are still very tight.
  • In the West, cream inventories are adequate for butter manufacturing, while print butter production is still active as it is being used to fulfill last minute grocery store orders.
  • Based on the CME Group, with various periods and averages used, this week, bulk butter pricing varies among regions:
    • East, 5.0 cents to 8.0 cents above the market
    • Central, 4.0 cents to 7.0 cents above the market
    • West, 1.0 cents below to 7.0 cents above the market
Fluid Milk and Cream:
  • Milk has remained somewhat available following the holiday week, although contacts point out that it is not at levels compared to the past three years.
  • Bottling demand is also lower than some fluid milk handlers had predicted, particularly in the South-Central area.
  • Fluid milk contacts are suggesting that milk alternatives, primarily plant-based beverages, have taken a clear toll on the overall industry.
  • Dairies in the Midwest are shuttering at levels not matched. That said, dairy cow numbers are not decreasing at the same pace, as larger dairies are taking them on in some cases.
  • Cheese plant managers, those who are still maintaining regular to busier production schedules, are reaping the benefits of the extra milk and ebbing cheese production in the region.
  • Spot milk prices ranged from $1 under to $3 under Class for the second week in a row.
  • Milk fat levels remain lower than last year.
  • Cream, although more available after the holiday, remains tighter than some processors expected it to be earlier in the season.
  • Whipped toppings and cream-based retail/food service manufacturing is reportedly maintaining a relatively tight grip on the cream market.
  • Upper Midwestern farmers put in extra time late last week to wrap up corn and soybean harvests.
Shell Eggs:
  • Prices of New York eggs are 3 cents lower for Medium, unchanged on larger sizes.
  • Regional and California prices are steady. The undertone is steady to lower. Offerings range light to instances heavy, usually moderate. Demand into all channels is moderate.
  • Current supplies are mostly moderate to heavy for trading purposes.
  • Market activity is moderate in California and the Southeast, slow to moderate elsewhere.
  • Breaking stock offerings are light to moderate for the light to moderate demand.
  • Spent hen supplies are at least sufficient; processing schedules are full-time to extended.

FRESH PRODUCE

Iceberg Lettuce:
  • The market has been active due to light supplies and increased demand from the Northeast and also from Canadian customers buying again.
Leaf Lettuce:
  • Romaine is up and short supplies, Green is up in price and getting shorter. Red is getting shorter.
  • Thanksgiving pull is on now, prices will stay high.
Broccoli:
  • The deal continued firm last week as supplies dwindled in Salinas and Santa Maria.
  • Expect the same for this week: light supplies and firm pricing.
Strawberries:
  • Oxnard, Santa Maria, Mexico have good supplies and quality. Market is strong and prices are up.
Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries:
  • Price and demand are down.
Potatoes:
  • Idaho, prices have started to rise somewhat. Overall, consensus continues to be that the crop will be short this season – Nationwide.

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