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ANALYSIS: YTD Chicken Weight Distribution Over Time 

While chicken production has clearly increased in the past ten years when looking at the data on a year-to-date (YTD) basis, there’s also been a definite shift in weights of chickens harvested. This year’s total YTD head count is up 6% from 2014 at a value of approximately 4.37 million birds. This is following 2023’s nearly 4.47 million birds produced, the highest YTD production of the past ten years.

While overall chicken numbers have increased since 2014, production of certain weight categories...

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Jul 19 8:04 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: May Turkey Export Volume Reveals Generally Conservative Changes from April

May’s turkey export data showed that volume comparisons with April were mostly conservative compared with the five-year average changes. The total amount of turkey sold to foreign buyers decreased by approximately 1%, compared to a five-year average increase of 5% for this period. Moving from April to May, the top three export buyers of U.S. turkey remained as Mexico, Canada, and Jamaica absorbing 31.76 million pounds, 1.10 million pounds, and 0.77 million pounds, respectively.

Mexico was the primary driver of the overall decrease in turkey...

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Jul 18 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: China’s June 2024 Meat Imports at 12-Month Low, 1H 2024 Fell 13.4% YoY

China’s June 2024 meat imports, including entrails, slipped to a 12-month low, with volumes recorded at 514,957 mt, as shown by preliminary customs statistics from the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China.

Imports plunged 31.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) and fell 7.5% month-on-month (m-o-m) from May 2024's556,642 mt as the world’s second largest economy continued to struggle with low domestic consumption.

In the first half of 2024, China imported...

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Jul 17 8:12 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Grocers Vie with Foodservice During Peak Travel Season

Summer is usually the peak demand period for foodservice, as warmer weather encourages vacation plans and out-and-about activities. As more consumers embark on trips, spending is typically increased at restaurants and bars.

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday showed that restaurant business rose 0.3 percent last month, likely supported by the summer travel season. Overall retail sales in June remained unchanged from May, outpacing expectations for a decline. Stock futures climbed following the stronger-than-expected data, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to... 

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Jul 17 6:53 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: 1H 2024 in Review, Australia’s Beef Industry Navigates Surge in US Exports 

For a relatively small, cattle producing country, Australian beef is heavily traded. In fact, it's on the podium for one of the world's most traded this year. Australia's beef industry in the first half of 2024 has navigated a dynamic landscape reshaped by global market shifts and regional challenges. This period has been marked by significant export expansions to the world’s largest beef market, the US. Despite facing challenges in Asian markets due to evolving consumer demand dynamics, Australia continued to position...

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Jul 16 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Peeled Knuckles Defy Seasonal Trends Fueled by Lean Beef Demand

Back in April, we highlighted how record-high prices of 90% boneless beef had a massive impact on several items within the boxed beef complex, most notably, peeled knuckles. That trend has moved on through the summer as prices for peeled knuckles have reached their highest point in history, aside from 2020, when the COVID pandemic was in full swing.

At present, Choice peeled knuckles sit at $4.00/lb., this is roughly 21.8% higher than at this time last year...

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Jul 15 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Dog Days Dull Buying Occasions

Holiday retail meat clearance last week was reported as mostly positive albeit a bit scattered due to varying weather conditions across the country. This week, extreme heat and record temperatures are expected to persist in the Western and Eastern U.S.

The sweltering conditions that typically accompany the dog days of summer make it challenging for retail to capture regular meat purchases. The egg case also typically sees fewer purchases around this time of year as consumers opt for cold breakfasts like cereal and fruit...

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Jul 10 8:19 AM, UB Newswires

ANAlYSIS: Brazilian Beef Exports Reach Record Highs in H1 2024 Amid Currency Depreciation

Brazilian beef exports reached unprecedented volume in the first half of 2024, totaling 1,139,166 metric tons (MT), a substantial 29.1% increase from the 882,197 MT exported during the same period last year. Just in June, export figures hit 192,567 MT, reflecting a 9.2% decrease from May's 211,976 MT and nearly similar to the same period last year’s 192,688 MT, reflecting only a 0.1% drop.

China remains the top destination for Brazilian beef, absorbing nearly half of the total volume shipped in H1 2024...

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Jul 9 8:06 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Australia's 1H 2024 Beef Exports Grew 25.7% Y-o-Y, June Volumes Highest Since 2019

Australia’s beef and veal exports surged to 601,408 mt in the first half of 2024, data from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (DAFF) indicated. This marked a robust 25.7% increase compared to the same period last year.

Year-to-date (YTD) volumes grew by 123,030 mt buoyed by high Australian production levels. This growth underscores the timely outcome of herd rebuilding efforts initiated since 2021.

This export increase has primarily been fuelled by a supply shortage in the US caused by ongoing...

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Jul 9 8:02 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Checking In On Chicken Headcount

Ending off the month of June, cumulative chicken headcount is down by approximately 2.18% with about 94.3 thousand fewer birds produced when compared to a similar period in 2023. Although total headcount continues to retreat on a year-over-year (YoY) basis, a glance at the individual size categories reveals a shift in overall weight distribution.

The number of small (4.25 lbs/down) and jumbo (7.76 lbs/ up) broilers crossing the line has risen by 1.56% and 2.08%, respectively, while birds within the medium (4.26-6.25 lb) range have retreated 6.37%...


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Jul 5 10:36 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Market, A Seasonal Quandary

The turkey market has been particularly challenging for players to successfully navigate over the past several years and, so far, 2024 has been no exception. This scenario is particularly true when speaking about the whole-body bird and raw material sectors where seasonally subdued demand persists here at the mid-year point. Given the fact that wholesale and consumer-facing demand patterns are notoriously challenging to predict on a "normal" year, turkey markets are falling back on traditional supply-side metrics to help illuminate the road ahead...

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Jul 5 8:14 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: New Zealand’s Beef Sector Intensifies US Market Push, May 2024’s Exports Surge 26.0% M-O-M

The New Zealand beef industry is increasingly targeting the lucrative US market to capitalize on the high demand resulting from supply shortages. New Zealand’s exports in May 2024 were recorded at 57,202 mt, the highest in-month level since the 2015 drought year of 57,538 mt, data from Stats NZ indicated.

On a monthly basis, exports jumped 26.0% or by 11,796 mt. Year-on-year, the country’s beef exports grew 4.9% or 2,659 mt...

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Jul 3 8:05 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Retail Segment and Temperatures Heat Up Ahead of Holiday

The retail segment is heating up for the July 4th holiday, as are the temperatures across the country.

Scorching heat along with the holiday falling on a Thursday could dampen this year’s cookouts. Residents in the south-central and West Coast are in the midst of a dangerous and record-breaking heat wave, with blistering temperatures forecast to extend into next week.

Meanwhile, severe weather including flash flooding and strong wind gusts is possible over the next few days across the Plains and Midwest, according to the National...

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Jul 3 7:01 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Turkey Cold Storage: Up, Down, Sideways

While spot trade activity within the turkey market remains seasonally subdued here at the tail end of June, there is no shortage of influential variables that are weighing heavily on the minds of participants. One report which has raised a couple of eyebrows is the latest Cold Storage assessment. As illustrated by this week’s chart, both yearly and monthly inventory comparisons were far from unified through the end of May. Total holdings closed the month at 422.9 million pounds. This represents a 5.2% year-over-year (YoY) advance, while also positioning... 

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Jun 27 8:12 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Lower Tenderloin Prices Weigh Down Loin Primal Value Amid Grilling Season

Loins typically garner the bulk of attention at this point on the calendar within the boxed beef market. Grilling season is in full swing and the 4th of July holiday is on the horizon. In 2024, we have seen the loin operate in quite a different fashion when compared to last year. As of June 24, Urner Barry’s Choice loin beef cutout value sits at $4.25/lb., roughly 10% below the same time last year. While a few items are lagging behind last year’s levels...

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Jun 27 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: April's Record U.S. Pork Export Volume, Central America Exceeds China

The discussion in the U.S. pork market has been largely focused on improved export interest compared to 2023 levels. Analyzing the USDA's total U.S. pork exports for April reveals the highest volume ever recorded for that month since data collection began in 1970, slightly surpassing the volumes of 2020 and 2021. This increase is notable as U.S. pork has become more price-competitive in international markets due to a drop in European pork production, making E.U. pork supplies less abundant than in past years...

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Jun 24 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: China’s May 2024 Beef Imports Soar 30% YoY; Consumer Shifts from Pork

China’s May 2024 beef imports rebounded from last month, rising 4.5% m-o-m or 10,048 mt to 234,449 mt, the latest General Administration of Customs People's Republic of China data indicated.

On a yearly basis, volumes soared 30.7% (55,053 mt), primarily driven by a hike in Brazilian imports. Exports to China was previously suspended in 2023 over Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) issues.

Year-to-date (YTD) figures stood at 1.23 million mt, a decline of 23.6% or 234,589 mt compared to the same period last year...

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Jun 24 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Wings Bucking Historical Trends

Anyone dealing in the wholesale chicken wing market is acutely aware of the rarefied air the industry is breathing these days. Not since the dizzying heights of 2021 have wholesale values soared as they do now, defying historical trends and seasonal expectations. Recent market feedback continues to paint a surprisingly robust picture, which suggests the current undertone may not be shifting just yet.

The shadow of 2021 looms large, a year marked by such astronomical prices that drove buyers away, taking nearly two years for demand to recover...

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Jun 21 11:44 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Shell Egg Market Stabilizes Following Four-Week Rally to Mid-June Record Highs

Thursday marked the conclusion of a four-week rally in the US shell-egg market, during which Urner Barry’s benchmark Midwest large quotation surged by 63.4%, reaching $2.68 per dozen, an unprecedented high for mid-June. This surge reflects robust retail demand outstripping constrained supply in an unseasonably strong market.

Traditionally, summer sees a dip in egg demand as seasonal preferences shift, but competitive everyday prices have been a strong lure for consumers grappling with inflation and tight budgets...



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Jun 14 9:37 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Export Volume Slips to 6-Year Seasonal Low

For those who have been following the broiler export data throughout the year, the latest figures are slow to challenge the status quo. However, April's reading did present some interesting developments worth noting. Total outward tonnage through month’s end floundered at about 530 thousand pounds. This represents the second-lowest seasonal level observed over the past decade. When compared with March, cumulative figures retreated by 5.1%, or 28.8 million pounds. This downturn keeps in line with an anticipated reduction in monthly movement of 9.4% on average over the past five...

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Jun 14 8:10 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Divergent Pricing Strategies for Mexican Export Short Loins

The Mexican export market has shown contrasting positions regarding the negotiation of short loin prices with the U.S. market. On one hand, some sellers have chosen to negotiate material at lower prices, responding to the historically seasonal decline in short loin prices starting in June and avoiding the risk of holding material that could depreciate even more in the future. On the other hand, there is an opposing stance that directly responds to current market trends. Observing the U.S. boxed beef market, short loin prices have shown a...

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Jun 14 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Export Volume Expands MoM Stride

By most accounts, April marked the continuation of a general improvement in year-over-year (YoY) turkey export throughput which has been playing out since June of 2023. Total holdings through month’s end touched on about 40.9 million pounds which marks an 18.5% YoY advance. Despite this significant leap, April’s ending tally is still positioned 2.3 million pounds shy of the seasonal 5-year average. As for the comparative monthly data, total outward volume during the month rose by 11.3%. This uptick is a stark contrast to the average 4.9% reduction observed...

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Jun 13 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Raising the 'Steaks' for Father’s Day

The Memorial Day and July 4th holidays are popular burger occasions, whereas Father’s Day is typically geared toward steak consumption. Fittingly, grocers have upped the feature volume for steaks ahead of the upcoming holiday weekend.

Steaks currently make up 43.3% of total retail buying opportunities within the beef complex, up from 37.7% the week prior. Ground beef ads also saw a week-over-week advance, now holding 35.3% of beef’s total retail activity. Feature activity for roasts has eased as fewer households utilize their ovens during the hotter weather.

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Jun 12 8:35 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Grilling Season Heats Up as CAB Bone-In Strip Prices Reach Year-High

As we head towards Father’s Day weekend, the Certified Angus Beef® market has witnessed some uplift around many of the cuts that are favorites during grilling season. The bone-in 1x1 shells are no exception. Since about mid-April, bone-in strips have witnessed a steady climb and have even surpassed levels seen this time of year. From April 22, prices have jumped by 17% in what has developed into a more traditional spring run-up...

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Jun 12 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: The Domino Effect, Herd Reduction Impacts Beef Markets

As we begin to work through the back half of the year, there have been quite a few interesting trends to unfold through the first 6 months within the boxed beef markets. It is no secret that the U.S. beef herd has been in a contraction phase for some time within both the fed and non-fed sectors of the beef market. This has become most evident when you look at cow & bull slaughter figures year-to-date, which are down nearly 10% already...

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Jun 11 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Strong Market for Yolk Leads to Over-Production of Whites in the EU

Historically, in the EU, egg white and yolk prices have behaved rather independently. However, since September 2023, brisk demand for yolk has yielded more whites than producers can find an outlet for, which slightly impacted both market prices.

In the last three years, the price of liquid egg white has been following the same trend as egg white powder. Due to post-COVID inflation, severe HPAI outbreaks, and the invasion of Ukraine, the costs of feed, shell eggs, and energy in the EU surged...

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Jun 11 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: China’s May 2024 Meat Imports Slip 3.35% Y-O-Y Over Weak Consumption

Preliminary custom statistics showed that China’s May 2024 meat imports (including entrails) were recorded at 557,000 mt, the latest General Administration of Customs People's Republic of China data indicated. 

Imports rose 2.39% m-o-m from April 2024’s 544,000 mt. Market players believed this increase was largely driven by the influx of Brazilian material. On 12th March 2024, China approved the addition of 38 new production plants to receive imported meat from Brazil, leading to an increase...

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Jun 7 1:37 PM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Brazil's Beef Exports Reach Record Highs in May, China's Shares Decline

Brazil has achieved a historical record in beef exports as of May 2024, exporting an unprecedented 211,976 MT of beef. This represents an increase of 1.9% from the previous month and a surged 25.9% when compared to the same period last year. On a YTD basis, the total volume is up by 16.7%.

China remains the leading importer, purchasing 97,876 MT of Brazilian beef in May. However, this figure is slightly lower than April's 101,023 MT ,a 3.1% decrease,  and corresponds to an 11.8% decline compared...

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Jun 7 10:28 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Australia's May 2024 Meat Exports Soar to Record Highs

Australia’s May 2024 total meat exports hit a record high, reaching a total of 200,188 mt of meat, including beef/veal, mutton, lamb, and pork, data from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (D.A.F.F) indicated. Volumes surpassed record highs last seen in October 2019 at 189,895 mt.

Volumes on a year-on-year basis jumped 22.0% or 36,122 mt. Exports grew 9.6% or 17,441 mt after a 4-month consecutive rise.

The country’s beef/veal exports for May 2024 jumped 24.5%...

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Jun 7 8:12 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Hatchery Highlights: Q2 Trends and Considerations

With June underway and given the relatively volatile state of the chicken market, players are looking to the stats as they attempt to refine their expectations for the end of Q2 and beyond. While lines such as wings continue to buck historical expectations by hitting new yearly price highs, other items such as boneless breasts have begun to correct lower in value in response to a retreat in buying outreach and mounting supply levels. Although forward-facing demand patterns are anything but a sure bet, one variable which the collective industry...

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Jun 7 8:08 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: A Deep Dive into Turkey Cold Storage

As touched on in last week’s analysis, there is no shortage of supply-facing variables which are playing an influential role in the turkey market. Despite a year-over-year (YoY) retreat in hatchery and harvest figures, frozen inventory levels are continuing to make headway above 2023 levels. With this in mind, we thought we’d elaborate on the most recent cold storage data and provide some historical perspective on the current inventory environment.

As illustrated by our chart, total cold storage stocks through the end of April notched above last year by...

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Jun 6 7:56 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Focus Shifts to Next Big Cookout Event

Shoppers welcomed the unofficial start of summer over the Memorial Day weekend with grilling go-tos including hamburgers, ribs, and chicken parts. Circana data indicates ground beef sales totaled nearly $82.9 million last week, up from $68.4 million the week prior and outpacing $77.1 million during the same week in 2023. Beef ribeye also saw increased sales week-over-week, earning $32.3 million with distribution (the number of UPCs selling within the given aggregate) totaling 90,781up from 87,175 the week prior...

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Jun 5 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

Analysis: April Boost in Pork Cold Storage Can't Offset Annual Shortfall 

The recent USDA Cold Storage Report revealed a notable 38-million-pound increase in April, marking an 8.25% month-over-month rise. However, cold storage levels remain 66 million pounds below this same time last year, reflecting an 11.6% decline.

Several items showed month-over-month increases, including bellies (3%), butts (8.3%), bone-in hams (49.5%), boneless hams (28.5%), boneless loins (3.3%), bone-in picnics (17.6%), ribs (3.7%), and total pork (8.25%). In contrast, bone-in loins (-3.2%) and trimmings (-0.2%) experienced decreases due to improved interest...

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May 31 10:09 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: US Egg Prices Soar as Production Hits Eight-Year Low Due to HPAI Outbreaks

Over the past two weeks, U.S. shell egg prices have soared by 45%, largely due to the ongoing spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), more commonly known as bird flu. The bird flu has been spreading across the US since February 2022—though not consistently. The first outbreak of last year didn’t occur until the last day of October, ending a ten-month stretch with no new cases. Since then, 28.7 commercial layer and pullet operations have been affected...

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May 31 8:19 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Cold Storage Contracts in April

The most recent Cold Storage Report shines light on the near-universal year-over-year (YoY) retreat of frozen inventory levels across much of the chicken complex. Although monthly comparisons also trekked lower in  April, several items bucked the established 5-year trend.

Total public warehouse stocks through the end of the month touched on 743.8 million pounds. This represents a 10.3% reduction from a similar period back in 2023, while also marking the third-lowest seasonal reading in a decade. This downturn closely aligns with April's relatively...


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May 31 8:14 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Inside Skirts Cool Off After Hot Spring

Back in March, we highlighted the Certified Angus Beef® inside skirts and the contra seasonal moves witnessed leading into the spring. It appeared that buyers did their work earlier in 2024 amid reduced slaughter levels seen at that point. As we check back in on that item, it does confirm that buyers were in fact early to the draw this year, and prices have come down to just about the levels seen at this point last year. The item has lost roughly 9.85% of its value...

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May 31 8:12 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: A Turkey Supply Conundrum

Given the relatively stagnant, if not seasonally, subdued state of the turkey market lately, buyers and sellers are searching high and low for direction. While supply-side indications certainly tell an interesting story, they seem to bring more questions than they do answers. As has been the case for the past seventeen months, total cold storage holdings have trekked higher on a year-over-year (YoY) basis.

The latest reading through the end of April was no exception; notching higher by 6.15%. Coming in at 390.6 million pounds, total warehouse... 

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May 30 8:03 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Boneless Chicken Breast Values Experience Seasonal Shudder

For those on the chicken side of the business, all eyes are on the breast meat complex given the recent, and somewhat abrupt, shift in marketing dynamics. For perspective, between the year’s outset and May 20th, jumbo boneless breast quotations have advanced 66%. This has positioned values at the fourth-highest seasonal level realized in the past decade. At $1.95/lb. delivered, this year’s seasonal peak currently stands about $0.19/lb above the 10-year average for the period.

Players attribute 2024’s admirable breast meat performance to active...

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May 24 8:16 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Australian Beef Imports Maintain the Top Spot

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's weekly report on Imported Meat Passed for Entry in the U.S. by Country sheds light on the ongoing dynamics in the beef import market. With domestic 90% Fresh Chemical Lean prices remaining historically high (Chart 1), it is no surprise that the volume of fresh beef boneless trimmings imported to the U.S. has reached levels unseen since 2015. Year-to-date (YTD) import shipments are pegged at 253,464 metric tons (MT), 31% above the 10-year average...

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May 23 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Tapering Turkey Hatch Sets Production Tone

With trade activity continuing to fall to the sluggish end of the seasonal continuum, and given the ongoing uncertainty related to variables such as disease, turkey market participants are facing more questions than answers when it comes to the future potential of the complex. While the road ahead remains anything but a clear read, there are some forward-facing indications on the production front which might hint at the road which lies ahead. Despite the relatively average costs associated with corn and soybean values, lackluster demand patterns and the aforementioned threat...

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May 23 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Coarse Grinds Heat Up as Warmer Weather Ignites Grilling Season

As the Memorial Day holiday has come into view, coarse grinds have begun to showcase some seasonality which have been largely absent previously. Data shows 81% of coarse grinds increased nearly 27% year-to-date, 7% below the 5-year average. This is partially skewed due to the years of COVID-19 in the mix, particularly in 2020.

As weather has improved across the United States, grinds have slowly reappeared in the spotlight, encouraging buyers with incentives to return to the market as grilling season is set to begin...


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May 23 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Global Price Overview - 90% Trimmings

Urner Barry offers comprehensive beef price coverage across the world’s largest markets. This analysis evaluates 90% trimmings, a major ingredient for manufacturing beef products widely traded in different global regions.

To access the full range of Urner Barry's market insights, refer to our prices and market commentary. This includes coverage for U.S. Choice, Select, and Ungraded Boxed Beef, as well as U.S. Boneless Beef markets. We also provide coverage for U.S. imported beef sourced from Australia, New Zealand, Central America, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil, all the above are updated twice daily...

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May 23 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: China’s Beef Imports Hit Lowest in April Since Start of 2024 Amid Sluggish Demand

China’s April 2024 beef imports plummeted to its lowest point since the start of the year, shedding 7.7% month over month or 18,718 mt to 224,402 mt, the latest General Administration of Customs People's Republic of China data indicated.

By virtue of its population, China is the world's second largest beef market after the US, with most of the growth led by affluent urbanites. In recent years, the beef market has been further boosted by the rapid growth of the 'quick commerce' sector, which 

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May 22 8:08 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Ads Centered on Get Grillin’ Themes

This week's retail ads are centered on get grillin' themes as consumers stock up on burgers, hot dogs, and other barbeque staples for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. 

For the holiday weekend, seafood features take the cake with 28.8% of total protein ad volume. Pork climbed to second with 23.7%, followed by chicken with 20%. Beef features eased to 19.3% of the mix, down about three points from the week prior.

Looking at seafood, fresh/frozen filets make up 31% of retail buying...

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May 22 6:18 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Chicken Hatch Figures “Crack On”

From a historical perspective, May typically marks a pivotal time for those in the chicken industry. With chicken-centric holidays such as Superbowl, March Madness, and Mother’s Day now in the rearview mirror, market participants are keeping a watchful eye on prevailing demand patterns as consumers begin to transition into “grilling season”.

While it remains to be seen how demand will ultimately play out moving forward and whether or not chicken will remain competitive in the retail and food service spaces, market participants are opting to focus their attention on the...

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May 17 8:05 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Checking-In on Turkey Market Supply Factors

Although mid-May trade conditions have been slow to shift the undertone surrounding whole-body turkeys and raw materials, there is no shortage of variables which are weighing heavily on the minds of market participants as they refine their expectations for the road ahead. Central to many turkey-related conversations remains disease.

As illustrated by this week’s chart, year-to-date (YTD) commercial HPAI outbreaks have risen about 84%, or 229.6 thousand head, when compared to a similar period one year prior...

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May 16 8:05 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Memorial Day Promotions; Latest CPI Data

Spring is in the air… and the first inklings of summer are making a reappearance too. Memorial Day is less than two weeks out and grocers are enthusiastically preparing for the official start of the grilling season.

Cookout staples like charcoal, outdoor serving ware, grilling cuts, and all things barbeque are migrating toward the front page of circulars, bringing increased visibility to the meat case, deli counter, and prepared foods sections of the store. 

In the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend last year, 78-84% lean ground beef was...

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May 15 8:45 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Brazilian Beef Export Volumes Show a Robust 25% Monthly Growth in April

Despite the general sentiment of a softened market from key export destinations for the Brazilian beef, exports in April demonstrated a significant upturn, with total fresh beef exports reaching 208,053 MT, a 25.1% increase from previous month’s 166,303 MT. The significant rebound in export figures from March have surprised some stakeholders given the persistent talk about a subdued demand and pressured prices. Particularly from the Chinese market, a major trading partner of Brazil.

April’s overall market undertone diverged by some means from the increased export figures...

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May 14 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Factors Influencing Mexican Ribeye Export Levels

The Mexican market has recorded its lowest export levels to the US in the last five years during 2024, primarily due to the strength of the peso in the exchange rate and increased demand in the Mexican domestic market. Despite this, the limited availability of materials in the USA has sustained interest in Mexican ribeyes.

Throughout the year, export price trends have mirrored those in the US market, particularly with select-type materials. Notably, this cut has shown remarkable price stability, maintaining consistent demand and demonstrating robust performance in the first quarter of...

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May 14 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Impacts of Prop 12 Shape Memorial Day Outlook for Pork Ribs, Bacon and Butts

Memorial Day is traditionally celebrated as one of the major pork holidays each year. Ribs, bacon, and butts are all beloved staples of this popular weekend that marks the official start of summer. However, this year presents a unique situation due to rebounding cold storage levels post prop 12 proclamation, sow liquidations, and economic uncertainty, unlike the past few years.

The current values for bone-in butts show an increase of 3.9% compared to this time last year, and they are also 10.4% above the...

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May 14 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Global Price Overview– Beef Knuckles

Urner Barry offers comprehensive beef price coverage across the world's largest markets. This analysis examines a popular cut, the knuckle, which is traded in different global regions. The report explores market conditions and price trends for knuckles, a round cut utilized in various applications such as processed steak items, ground beef production and for slicing and dicing.

To access the full range of Urner Barry's market insights, refer to our prices and market commentary. This includes coverage for U.S. Choice, Select, and Ungraded Boxed Beef, as well as U.S. Boneless Beef markets...

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May 10 3:14 PM, Urner Barry

Analysis: Rising Demand for U.S. Boneless Pork Butt in South Korea

Upon analyzing the USDA's year-to-date export data, there is a noteworthy increase of 70.6% in total weekly U.S. pork export volumes to South Korea compared to this same period last year. These exports have primarily consisted of pork butt items.

Conversely, year-to-date total beef exports to South Korea have decreased by 5.4% from the previous year. Elevated U.S. beef prices have led to a reduction in weekly export volumes to South Korea.

With dwindling pork supplies in the European market and high U.S. beef prices...

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May 10 10:31 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: March's Turbulent Tradewinds in Chicken Exports

The latest chicken export data through the end of March leaves some room for interpretation depending on one’s vantage point. Closing Q1 at 558.5 thousand pounds, total export tonnage rebounded 2.1% from February. This loosely coincides with the seasonally-anticipated average uptick of 7% realized over the past five years. Nonetheless, March’s closing tally was slow to make year-over-year (YoY) headway; standing just shy of 11% below ’23 levels.

In terms of value, March’s reading retreated by about 10% when compared to this time last year. Market participants are...

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May 10 8:13 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Insights into Non-Fed Slaughter

The quotation for 90% Fresh Chemical Lean Beef Trimmings exceeding $3.00 per pound has historically been a rare occurrence, happening only four times prior to this year: in September 2014, January 2015, late Spring 2020, and early Fall 2023. However, since the start of February, prices have remained above this mark for 14 consecutive weeks as seen in Chart 1 below.

Chart 1. UB Beef Trim 90%

One significant factor driving these historically high prices is the slowing rate of cow and bull slaughter in the U.S. According to the...

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May 10 8:10 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Export Volume Closes Q1 on a Relatively Positive Note

The latest turkey export data marks a continuation of the year-over-year (YoY) advances in outward tonnage which have been evident over the past nine months. Coming in at 37.7 million pounds, March’s closing tally stood 15%, or 3.5 million pounds, above this time in 2023. Given the ongoing complications with HPAI-related production and export constraints, it bears noting that total export figures still remain situated at the third-lowest seasonal level realized in two decades. Export value during this timeframe notched lower by 0.5%; positioning...


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May 9 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Tenderloin Prices Defy Springtime Expectations

Tenderloins have witnessed contra seasonal price movement ahead of, and throughout the traditional spring buying period. Urner Barry’s Choice Tenderloin quote entered 2024 at very similar levels seen at the onset of 2023, roughly $15.85/lb. Fast forward to the present and the item sits at $12.63/lb., a 20% drop in value through the first five months. At this point last year, tenderloins sat at $16.23/lb., about 22% above the current range and above the February trough. The item presently is also just shy of sitting 4% below the...

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May 8 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Showdown for Consumer Dollars this Mother's Day

Grocers and foodservice are preparing for a showdown with Mother's Day just a few days away. 

The upcoming holiday typically favors foodservice sales over retail as consumers celebrate their loved ones by visiting a dining establishment. According to the National Restaurant Association, 34% of consumers will dine out this Sunday, particularly during lunch and dinner. An additional 12% will order takeout or delivery.

However, retailers have a few tricks up their sleeves to get shoppers through the door by promoting deals on flowers, cards, gifts, and more. Grocers...

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May 8 6:49 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Australia's April Beef/Veal Exports Surge, Narrow Miss from 2015’s Record Highs

Australia’s beef/veal exports for April rose a whopping 46.2% year-on-year to 105,367 mt (33,304 mt increase), narrowly missing record highs last seen in 2015, data from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (D.A.F.F) indicated.  

Industry players initially anticipated that Australia would break its April export beef/veal record this year. However, the latest Monthly Australian Meat Export figures fell short by 7,916 mt to surpass the previous record set at 113,283 metric tons, primarily due to lower volumes to key customer China...

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May 3 10:01 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Weighing In on YTD Chicken Headcount

Given the wide array of production challenges related to disease and low hatchability, chicken market participants are keeping their eyes glued to the slaughter data as they attempt to hone their expectations for the road ahead. When it comes to 2024’s cumulative production, total headcount continues to retreat by about 2.7% year-over-year (YoY). This amounts to a 70 million head reduction from a similar period in ’23. Still, at about 2.6 billion birds, year-to-date (YTD) headcount continues to reside at the fifth-highest level in at least two...

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May 3 8:09 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Headcount Slips to Record Low

Although transactional activity within the turkey complex remains seasonally thin here in mid-Q2, there is no shortage of variables which are catching the attention of market participants.

The latest Monthly Slaughter Report is perhaps top of mind for many players on the turkey side of the business, and with good reason. Total headcount retreated by 5% from February, and by a notable 18% when compared with this time last year. Coming in at 15.5 million head, March’s data also represents the lowest reading observed in over two decades...

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May 2 8:06 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Maximizing May’s Buying Occasions

The grocery sector is maximizing several buying occasions this month as the change in weather and outdoor grilling season breathes new life into the meat case.

May brings about a seasonal shift as daily life bustles with spring activities like sports and outings—boosting the supermarket's convenience and snack food sections. Busy families will also frequent the deli counter more often and turn to quick dinners and frozen options for weekday meals.

Retailers are currently highlighting holiday items for Cinco de Mayo this Sunday. The upcoming holiday, which commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s...

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May 1 8:15 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Chicken Cold Storage, Cracking Open the Freezer Doors

The latest Cold Storage Report generally aligns with the monthly movement observed over the past five years, while also shining light on the notable reduction in year-over-year (YoY) inventory holdings. Total public warehouse stocks through the end of March hit 763.7 million pounds, which represents a 10.5% retreat from a similar period back in ’23. This coincides with the relatively well-accounted-for supply state on the street, along with the negative impact that disease and low hatchability continue to have on the production front...

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Apr 26 10:15 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Boneless Ribeye Prices Reflecting a Cautious Approach

Ribs have been tough items to get a pulse on this year as spending, production, and sentiment have all seen notable shifts in the past year. Uncertainty surrounding available cattle supplies and consumer willingness to spend on beef has prompted the market to take a much more cautious approach to the market and even more so around ribs. Urner Barry’s Choice Boneless Ribeye quote currently sits at $9.15/lb. compared to $10.23/lb. last year, which is about 10% lower...

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Apr 26 10:12 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Tightening Turkey Production Trends

Given the relatively serene state of the turkey market here in early Q2, market participants are keeping their eyes trained on the stats as they refine their expectations for the road ahead. When it comes to supply-facing variables, disease remains a top consideration, and with good reason. In just the first four months of the year, about 346 thousand commercial turkeys have been impacted by HPAI. Although this figure represents only a small fraction of the industry’s annual production potential, it is one part of a more complex scenario currently unfolding on the supply...

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Apr 25 8:32 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Export Volume Challenges for Mexican Beef End Cuts

Throughout 2024, beef export levels from Mexico to the United States have been relatively low compared to previous years. This trend is largely attributed to the exchange rate, as the strength of the Mexican peso against the dollar has led to higher prices of Mexican items. Consequently, even though there is sustained demand for Mexican beef in the US, Mexican producers have been constrained in their ability to allocate beef for export, since sales in the Mexican domestic market are more profitable. This situation is particularly evident with end cuts...

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Apr 25 8:26 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Abundance of Springtime Eating Occasions

There is an abundance of springtime eating occasions and grocers are gearing up for a triathlon of sorts with Cinco De Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day fast approaching.

The produce section and the meat case are expected to benefit from Cinco de Mayo as those celebrating load up on beef, pork, and chicken for a variety of dishes like tacos, fajitas, burritos, and carnitas. These dishes are often accompanied by fixings like guacamole and salsa, boosting sales of avocadoes, mangoes, and more...

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Apr 24 10:05 AM, UB Newswires

Analysis: Dollar to Peso Currency Conversion Impact on the U.S. Pork Bone-In Ham Market

Following the Easter holiday and into early April, the US 23/27 bone-in ham market displayed a fully steady to firm tone, with the majority of buying interest coming from the Mexican market. The Urner Barry weekly average price for bone-in hams for the week of April 8th, 2024 was the second highest on record for the month of April, dating back to 1981. This price was only exceeded during the 2014 Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) outbreak, reflecting the tight supply...

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Apr 24 8:27 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Beef Herd Dynamics – Heifer Slaughter Rates Remain High

Amidst historical lows in the U.S. cow herd population, market observers have noted a significant uptick in the price of Fresh 90% lean boneless beef trimmings, marking nine consecutive weeks of higher weekly weighted averages. The latest Urner Barry weekly weighted average quotation is reported at $3.4936 per pound, an all-time high. This trend traces back to herd liquidation beginning in 2019, spurred by drought conditions across major cattle-producing regions and subsequent elevated feed costs, which disincentivized producers to maintain herd size...

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Apr 16 8:53 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Industry Egg Prices Stabilized in the EU

Over the past two years, egg processors in the EU have endured fluctuating costs of raw materials, influenced by significant external factors that disrupted the balance between shell egg supply and demand. However, despite this volatility, prices for broken eggs have remained relatively steady for eight consecutive months. Since mid-September, values have fluctuated only slightly, ranging between 1.52 and 1.65 €/kg.

The stability in egg prices can be attributed to several factors, including favorable supply conditions during the winter without any significant disruptions from avian influenza...

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Apr 12 7:36 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: "Falling Feathers"- A Retreat in February's Chicken Export Volume...

February’s closing export tally primarily speaks to a contraction in total outward tonnage. Closing the month at 546.8 million pounds, one would have to venture all the way back to 2017 before coming across a lower seasonal figure. When compared with ’23, total volume retreated by 10.2%, or 62.3 million pounds. While the cumulative data almost speaks for itself, it is worth noting that the year-over-year (YoY) retreat in demand for U.S. chicken was not necessarily felt universally across all trade destinations...

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Apr 12 7:32 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Exports Tonnage: Greater Than What Meets the Eye

The turkey export figures were quite a sight to behold throughout the month of February. At 36.4 million pounds, total outward tonnage rose on a year-over-year (YoY) basis for the ninth consecutive month in a row. The most recent data gave way to a notable 46% advance from 2023. This was enough to position February’s closing figure at the highest seasonal level observed since 2021.

Total export value also realized a 20% uptick from the previous year. Although month-over-month (MoM) volume retreated by 0.07%...

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Apr 11 8:15 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Raw Material Costs in the QSR Sector - Beef Versus Chicken

Fast food restaurants have garnered a lot of attention in recent months due to increasing menu prices.  We thought it would be worthwhile to examine the costs for different ingredients used by the sector, particularly focusing on raw protein materials required for staple menu items. 

For this analysis, we concentrate on hamburger formulations using a 75% lean point. Cost ratio values below one indicate that a hamburger made exclusively from domestic boneless beef provides greater economic value, while values above one suggest that alternative options...

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Apr 11 8:11 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Competitive Prices Drive Traffic; CPI Update

The coming weeks and months present favorable weather conditions for grilling and travel, considered supportive of protein sales from both a retail and foodservice standpoint. And with a few notable items displaying comparatively attractive prices, the retail sector is well positioned to capitalize on pent-up grilling demand.

Below, we’ll explore a few notable items featured near or below year-ago levels last week, when some households celebrated Easter.

First up is beef ribeye, which averaged $10.79 discounted, down $2.24, or 17.2% from a year ago. Beef...

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Apr 10 9:05 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Will Peeled Knuckles Hold Their Ground? Lean Beef Shortage Tests Seasonal Trends

Record-high prices of 90% boneless beef have had a massive impact on several items within the boxed beef complex. Perhaps none have felt the effect more so than the peeled knuckle. Choice peeled knuckles have witnessed the strongest seasonal pricing in history through April 8, at $3.60/lb. Just a quick glance at the above chart and it becomes quite clear that pricing has fallen right in line with the trend of 90% boneless beef....

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Apr 10 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Australia's March Beef/Veal Exports Reach Highest Levels Since 2014, US Takes Top Spot

Australia’s beef/veal exports for March surged to levels not seen since 2014, up 7.7% y-o-y or up 7,595 mt to 106,573 mt, data from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (D.A.F.F) indicated. This also pointed to a consecutive monthly increase of 12,739 mt or 13.6% m-o-m. 

Notably, the US has taken over as the largest export destination for Australia, surpassing Japan, for the first time since 2015. The Monthly Australian Meat Export figures to...


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Apr 10 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Exploring Factors Influencing the Turkey Market

Although market-swaying spot trade activity is off to a fairly uneventful start in April, there are no shortage of variables that are lingering on the minds of turkey market participants as we proceed into spring. At the top of the "figurative" list is HPAI, which has been slow to relinquish its grasp on the poultry (and egg) industry. Through the first three months of the year, commercial HPAI turkey cases advanced by about 50%, or 70 thousand birds, from the year prior...


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Apr 5 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

Analysis: Weekly Record High Volume in US Fresh Imported Lamb Product

According to the USDA’s latest National Weekly Lamb Carcass & Lamb Cuts report, the week of March 11th, 2024, experienced the highest weekly national imported volume of fresh lamb products to the US recorded since data collection began in 2005, totaling 4,424,235 pounds.

This represents a substantial increase, showing a 19.4% rise in the year-to-date total volume compared to this same period last year, and highlights a peak in demand activity as Easter 2024 approached. A significant portion...


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Apr 5 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

Although April’s initial canvassing efforts are slow to bring with them many market-swaying developments, buyers and sellers of chicken are far from kicking up their feet. In light of the multitude of “unknown” variables which range from consumer demand patterns to disease, industry market participants are opting to focus their attention on what still lies within their control: Supply. With this in mind, the Weekly Broiler Hatch Report is perhaps one of our best forward-facing production indicators and one which has garnered quite a lot of attention in recent weeks...

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Apr 5 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Frozen Pork Supplies Plummet to Monthly Record Lows

The latest USDA Pork Cold Storage Report reveals that frozen pork supplies reached record monthly lows in February. Stocks decreased by 1% from the previous month and declined by 12% compared to last year. The most significant declines were observed in boneless hams, boneless loins, ribs, trimmings, and bellies, which experienced month-over-month decreases.

This reduction in frozen stocks can be partly attributed to increased demand during the third and fourth quarters of 2023 from regions impacted by Prop 12, ahead of the January 1, 2024, deadline...

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Apr 3 8:51 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: The April Outlook

The first inklings of planting season have made an appearance and with it comes the prospect of prolonged warmer weather. April typically launches a period of improved foodservice and retail demand as the shift in seasons encourages consumers to venture outdoors and fire up the grill. Moreover, spring break is underway, giving a boost to foodservice interest.

With spring in full swing, feature volume will begin to shift from roasts, popular with cooler weather cooking, to grilling cuts. Currently, the pork category overtakes seafood for a second consecutive week with the most feature volume...

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Apr 3 7:05 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Inside Skirts Defy Seaonality, Hitting Record Highs

The beef markets have become a bit stale as of late but there continues to be some outsized moves going slightly under the radar. One of which, the Certified Angus Beef® Inside Skirts, just posted new all-time highs at nearly $8.12/lb. This may have some on the buyside scratching their heads a bit given the date on the calendar. But when you consider slaughter and production levels, this does not seem surprising anymore, as it seems there is interest in getting ahead of the much-anticipated seasonal rally...

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Mar 29 10:56 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Cold Storage: A February Thaw

The latest chicken Cold Storage reading closely coincides with the generally constricted supply state observed across much of the market recently. Total inventories through the end of February retreated on a year-over-year (YoY) basis by 9%. This equates to a 77.7 million-pound reduction, while also marking the seventh consecutive month of yearly decreases. The comparative month-over-month (MoM) data also brought with it a significant 5%, or 41 million pound, downturn in public warehouse holdings. Although this scenario does generally align...

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Mar 29 8:04 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Inventories: Frostbite, or Ready to Take Flight?

Although the turkey marketing backdrop has been relatively sedate leading up to Easter, industry players still have quite a lot to mull over as we fast approach Q2. One report which has garnered attention recently is February’s Cold Storage assessment..

As depicted by this week’s chart, month-over-month (MoM) movement of most key lines kept closely with the established seasonal trend. Comparative yearly figures, however, were a mixed bag; ranging as high as 98% above, to as low as 15% below, 2023.

Starting with the cumulative data, total inward movement...

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Mar 28 9:23 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Urner Barry’s Cage-Free Quote Sees Volatile Start since January Launch

Though still in its early stages, Urner Barry’s rest-of-market (NE, MW, SE, SC) cage-free large shell egg quotation has already encountered considerable pressure since launching at the beginning of 2024. From mid-January to early February, this pressure was predominantly positive—partly because the New Year also marked the start of cage-free legislative mandates in the Northwest, which bolstered demand in that region. With local production insufficient to cover orders, suppliers turned to the spot market for eggs sourced from other regions...

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Mar 28 9:19 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Cattle Futures Plummet to Multi-Month Lows on Market Uncertainty

Live cattle and feeder futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) have been under significant selling pressure in recent sessions, weighed in part by bearish USDA data and market uncertainty following the detection of bird flu in dairy cattle.

The cattle complex rounded out last week in lower territory ahead of the monthly USDA cattle-on-feed report. Analysts participating in the Urner Barry survey anticipated a 6.3% year-over-year increase in February placements following a sharp decline the previous month...

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Mar 28 9:16 AM, Urner Barry

Mintec's 2024 US Easter Index

Mintec’s US Easter Index measures price fluctuations across key food commodities that are typically consumed in the US during the Easter period. The US Easter Index compares the commodities’ prices in March 2024 against March 2023 to determine whether consumers will be hypothetically better or worse off this Easter. The Index is comprised of three sub-indices: the US Easter Protein Index represents a selection of meats, fish and eggs that will typically be eaten as part of a main Easter dinner; the US Easter Chocolate Index compares the main...


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Mar 28 8:03 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Easter Features Breakdown 

A March Easter is approaching—an occurrence not seen since 2016. Circulars are flush with holiday and springtime themes as grocers take full advantage of the upcoming weekend. 

Pork feature volume rose through the ranks and earned the top spot of protein feature volume this week with 29% of ad space. Seafood eased to 25%, down from 32% last week. Lent ends tomorrow at sundown, meaning observers can soon indulge in meat on Fridays again. 

Beef has 20% of retail activity while chicken features comprise 11% of protein ad volume. Turkey features more...

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Mar 27 8:15 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Brazilian Beef Export Situation Update

Last week, the Brazilian beef export market exhibited cautious activity, with market participants closely watching reactions to the newly approved meat processing plants for exports to China. Despite an increase in supply options, buyers leveraged the situation to negotiate prices, while some sellers maintained their previous week’s rates. The result was a market finding a middle ground, with most traded items maintaining steady or slightly lower prices than the week before.

The supply-demand dynamic appears stable, as buyers, reportedly well-stocked, showed no urgency in closing deals...

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Mar 26 8:56 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: High Whole EU Egg Prices Leave Little Room For Movement Ahead of Easter

Historically, the pre-Easter period in Europe has been a peak time for the egg industry, characterized by rising prices leading up to the extended holiday weekend. However, this year, the uptick has been comparatively subdued, with minimal deviation observed from the 2024 trendline. Over the past five years, cage liquid whole egg values have reached an average Easter peak of 1.76 €/kg, reflecting a 22.4% increase from the Q1 five-year average low. This year, the price increase has been more restrained...

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Mar 26 8:51 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: The Widening Price Spread Between Boneless Chicken Breasts and Tenders

Given the volatile, and generally bullish-leaning market dynamics within the chicken complex recently, buyers and sellers certainly have a lot to consider as we usher in the springtime months. In addition to widespread supply constrictions, light live weights, and the ongoing threat of multiple diseases, the ever-shifting price relationship between various items on the sheet has introduced some additional room for speculation. Perhaps one of the more obvious examples of the changing market landscape is the relatively narrow, albeit expanding, delta between jumbo boneless breast and tender...

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Mar 22 11:37 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Hatching Plans to Combat Future Uncertainty

Anyone intimately involved in the turkey industry has most likely had their eyes on the hatchery data to start the year. Substantial reductions in all three major categories, Eggs In Incubators, Eggs Hatched and Net Poults Placed have taken place over the past few months which leads many to question what exactly is causing the downtrend. The answer though, may not be as simple as it once was. Traditionally speaking, when hatchery statistics move notably higher or lower, it comes as a concerted effort by the industry to better align with current and...

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Mar 21 8:24 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: 2024 Annual Power of Meat Study Recap

The 2024 Power of Meat Study was revealed at the Annual Meat Conference in Nashville, Tennessee this week. Anne-Marie Roerink, Principal at 210 Analytics, presented the findings and identified the trends currently shaping the retail meat sector.

This year’s report found that the number of Americans who describe themselves as meat eaters (80%) and the number of households that purchase meat (98%) were unchanged from 2023. Circana data indicates that overall household penetration across all incomes, ethnicities, household sizes, and ages, averages above 97%...

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Mar 20 8:27 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: A Look at Steak Cuts That Are Soaring and Sinking in 2024

Through nearly the first quarter of the year, the steak cuts within the boxed beef market have traveled down strikingly different paths. While there are several factors impacting the market, there are a handful of key standouts that have impacted some popular cuts as we near the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Let’s start with ribs and tenderloins. These items saw the bulk of seasonal discounting early in the year. Winter storms swept across the nation in January and those helped provide a floor and...

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Mar 20 8:18 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: The Surge in Boneless Beef Imports Amidst Constrained U.S. Herd

The UB Beef Trimmings, 90% Fresh Chemical Lean quotation reached a record weighted average high of $333.25 per hundredweight on March 18, 2024. Meanwhile, according to the USDA’s latest Semi-Annual Cattle Inventory report, the number of beef cows were reported at 28.2 million head, the lowest level since 1961.

With constrained availability of cows in the domestic market and record high pricing for lean trim, end users look to alternatives to satisfy demand.  They have done so quite successfully through imported boneless beef...


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Mar 20 8:13 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Cattle Weights Resume Contra-Seasonal Gains Following Brief Stall

Cattle weights have resumed their contra-seasonal move higher following a brief stall, putting market participants on high alert. 

A string of winter storms and muddy pen conditions impacted cattle performance towards the start of 2024. Dressed steer weights shed 30 pounds during January, hitting a year-to-date bottom at 909 pounds during the week ending February 3. 

Dynamics in the cattle market have shifted in recent weeks with weights now displaying a contra-seasonal increase, reversing the declining trend seen since the start...


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Mar 18 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: January Chicken Exports Off to a Strong Start

Although it may not be immediately evident based solely on the data, chicken export movement kicked off the year with quite a bang. Despite a 3.4%, or 21.6 million pound, year-over-year (YoY) reduction in total outward tonnage, January’s closing tally of 608.7 million pounds, was enough to position seasonal export figures at the third highest level realized in three decades.

Much like the annual comparisons, the month-over-month (MoM) figures also brought with them a modest reduction of 3.4%, or 21.6 million pounds...

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Mar 15 8:10 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: South American Beef Exporters Diversifying Beyond China In 2024

As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2024, a subtle yet discernible trend is emerging among major South American beef exporters, particularly Brazil and Uruguay. These countries are showing a tendency towards exploring attractive markets for their beef exports. This strategy doesn't signify a major shift away from China, remaining as the world's largest beef consumer, but rather an adaptive response to diversify their export destinations.

This trend becomes evident when analyzing the beef export data up to February 2024 (frozen, fresh or chilled)...

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Mar 15 8:00 AM, Urner Barry

The Retail Rundown: Seeing Green

Grocers and foodservice establishments alike are seeing green ahead of what is expected to be a record-setting St. Patrick’s Day for spending.

According to an annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics with the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend an average of $44.40 per person on the holiday coming up on Sunday, March 17th, amounting to a record $7.2 billion in collective spendingup from $6.9 billion in 2023. 

The top spending categories are food and beveragessláinte! And with the holiday falling on a weekend this year...

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Mar 13 8:36 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: South American Beef Exporters Diversifying Beyond China In 2024

As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2024, a subtle yet discernible trend is emerging among major South American beef exporters, particularly Brazil and Uruguay. These countries are showing a tendency towards exploring attractive markets for their beef exports. This strategy doesn't signify a major shift away from China, remaining as the world's largest beef consumer, but rather an adaptive response to diversify their export destinations.

This trend becomes evident when analyzing the beef export data up to February 2024 (frozen, fresh or chilled)...

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Mar 12 7:47 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Beef 50s and Pork 42s Take Diverging Paths

Over the past decade, fresh beef 50s and pork 42s have generally followed a corresponding trend in pricing. The two items can be used interchangeably for processed products like hot dogs and sausage, with preferences among the processors for the materials sometimes boiling down to cost. 

Fresh beef 50s have historically maintained a premium over pork 42s with recent exceptions observed in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, accelerated export interest, modestly reduced domestic production, conversion line issues, and retail interest for pork sausage supported the value of 42s, making them...

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Mar 8 8:17 AM, Urner Barry

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