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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



HPAI H5N1 Virus in Dairy Cattle – What We Know

In March 2024, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) A (H5N1), commonly referred to as bird flu, was confirmed in domestic U.S. livestock for the first time in a dairy operation in Texas. Since then, the virus has spread to 36 dairy operations across nine states, raising widespread uncertainty throughout the dairy and livestock markets. Industry participants have raised concerns about the outbreak's potential impact on consumer perception and demand for dairy and meat products, though government agencies reiterate that the national food supply remains safe. Urner Barry is closely monitoring the situation...

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Jun 13 6:15 AM, UB Newswires


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


Smithfield Foods Enters Agreement to Buy Nashville Sausage Facility from Cargill 

On Thursday, Smithfield Foods announced it entered into a definitive agreement to buy a dry sausage facility from Cargill in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The latest acquisition will expand Smithfield’s growing footprint in the value-added packaged meats segment. The transaction is expected to close by the end of next month. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

“This transaction is a testament to our continued focus on growing our packaged meats business by staying ahead of and delivering on our customers’ preferences. Dry sausage is one of our fastest-growing...

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Jun 7 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


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


USDA Issues FAQ on Federal Order Requiring Bird Flu Testing in Dairy Cattle

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a Federal Order requiring mandatory testing of lactating dairy cattle for bird flu before interstate movement. Effective Monday, April 29, 2024, the order also mandates reporting positive influenza A test results in livestock to USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) causes less severe illness in cattle than in poultry, in which the virus is typically fatal, but remains a concern for livestock and humans who come into contact with infected animals...

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Apr 26 7:31 AM, UB Newswires


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


Cow-to-Cow Transmission Confirmed as a Factor in Spread of H5N1

In an update provided by the USDA, the agency confirmed that cow-to-cow transmission is a factor in the spread of H5N1 bird flu in dairy herds.

However, it remains unclear exactly how the virus is being moved around. “We know that the virus is shed in milk at high concentrations; therefore, anything that comes in contact with unpasteurized milk, spilled milk, etc. may spread the virus,” explained the USDA.

The government stressed the importance of biosecurity, including the movement of people, animals, vehicles, and...

 

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Apr 22 8:13 AM, UB Newswires


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


Executive Conference: Jeff Saturday on Communication and Collaboration on and off the Field

It’s day one at Urner Barry’s 48th Annual Executive Conference at The Venetian in Las Vegas! Russ Whitman, Director of Market reporting, delivered the opening ceremony to a jam-packed room, where hundreds of industry stakeholders and analysts gathered to share their expertise and gain insights from today's speakers. 

Dr. David Kohl, Economist, kicked off the agenda with his panel titled: Agricultural Economics and Business Trends for the Late 2020s: What Is Coming Next? An Academic Hall of Famer in the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech...

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Apr 16 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


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


Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Confirmed in North Carolina Dairy Herd

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was detected in a dairy herd in North Carolina on April 10, bringing the number of states with confirmed cases of HPAI in livestock to seven. 

HPAI has previously been detected in nine dairy herds in Texas, three in Kansas, two in New Mexico, and one each in Michigan, Idaho, and Ohio. The movement of cattle from affected herds in these states to North Carolina has been suspended. 

“This is an evolving situation, and we are waiting for more diagnostics from NVSL and will work collaboratively with our federal partners and dairy farmers in North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler...

Full Story »
Apr 11 7:07 AM, UB Newswires


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...

 

Full Story »
Apr 10 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


Corn Planting Progress Slightly Outpacing Average Rate

In the USDA’s latest Crop Progress report, corn plantings as of Sunday, April 7 were 3% underway across the 18 primary production states. This is slightly behind the 5-year average rate of 2%. 

Seven states now report planting progress, up from six the previous week. North Carolina and Missouri/Tennessee showed the most week-over-week progress, jumping 8 and 5 percentage points, respectively. 

States failing to get on the board include Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Corn futures were down 1 to 2 cents...

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Apr 9 10:49 AM, UB Newswires


USDA’s APHIS Answers Questions on Detection of HPAI in Dairy Cattle

Following the recent string of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) detections in dairy herds in several states, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has answered some of the most frequently asked questions about the rapidly evolving situation.

As of Apil 3, 2024, six states have confirmed cases of HPAI in domestic livestock. The first confirmation was on March 25 in dairy milking cattle in Texas. Since then, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Idaho, and Ohio have also reported HPAI in dairy cattle herds.

Below are some of the questions...

Full Story »
Apr 5 8:22 AM, UB Newswires


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...

Full Story »
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...

Full Story »
Apr 3 7:05 AM, UB Newswires


Initial Progress Reports Show Corn Plantings 2% Underway

Corn plantings for the week ending March 31 were 2% underway when averaging the 18 primary corn production states. This is slightly above the 5-year average by this time last year and is even with this week last year.

Texas is ahead of schedule, with 57% of its corn crop in the ground, compared to the 5-year average of 53%.

Plantings in Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee are each 2% underway. Meanwhile, 12 of the 18 primary production states have reported zero progress in plantings so far this year...

Full Story »
Apr 2 8:07 AM, UB Newswires


State Officials Report Human Case of Bird Flu in Texas, Second Ever in U.S. History

State officials Monday reported the first human case of avian influenza A(H5N1) in Texas, marking the second-ever human case of H5N1 flu, or HPAI, in the United States and the first tied to exposure to cattle. 

The individual in Texas had been in direct contact with dairy cattle thought to be infected with avian influenza. The person, who had testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the weekend, exhibited eye inflammation as their only symptom and is being treated with the antiviral drug oseltamivir. The risk to the general public remains low, said the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)...

Full Story »
Apr 2 8:00 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...

Full Story »
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...

Full Story »
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...

Full Story »
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...

Full Story »
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...

Full Story »
Mar 28 9:16 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...

Full Story »
Mar 27 8:15 AM, UB Newswires


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...

Full Story »
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...

Full Story »
Mar 22 11:37 AM, Urner Barry


Overnight Fire at National Beef Plant to Result in Late Start Today

A fire occurred overnight at a National Beef plant in Liberal, Kansas, located in Seward County.

In a Facebook post late Wednesday, the Liberal Police Department reported that a "large fire" was on the east side of the facility and advised individuals not to drive on East 8th Street near National Beef. Additional details will be provided as more information becomes available, added the Liberal Police Department...

Full Story »
Mar 21 8:35 AM, UB Newswires


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...

Full Story »
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%...

Full Story »
Mar 20 8:27 AM, UB Newswires


CDFA Announces New Proposition 12 Certifying Agent

The California Department of Food and Agriculture's (CDFA) Animal Care Program has announced NSF Certification LLC as its newest Proposition 12 certifying agent.

NSF Certification LLC is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is accredited to certify distributors. It will be extending its certification services nationwide within the United States, added the Animal Care Program. 

A complete list of accredited certifying agents can be found here. To date, there are eighteen private entities accredited as a certifying agent per Chapter 10 (commencing with section 1320) of Division 2 of Title 3 of the...

Full Story »
Mar 20 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


CDFA Announces New Proposition 12 Certifying Agent

The California Department of Food and Agriculture's (CDFA) Animal Care Program has announced NSF Cerficiation LLC as its newest Proposition 12 certifying agent.

NSF Certification LLC is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is accredited to certify distributors. It will be extending its certification services nationwide within the United States, added the Animal Care Program. 

A complete list of accredited certifying agents can be found...

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This story and more are available exclusively to subscribers on our premium COMTELL service....

Full Story »
Mar 19 1:39 PM, UB Newswires


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...

 

Full Story »
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...

Full Story »
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)...

Full Story »
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...

Full Story »
Mar 13 8:36 AM, UB Newswires


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...

Full Story »
Mar 8 8:17 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Prudent Buying Takes Hold in Boxed Beef Market as Risk Premiums Limit Forward Bookings

Through just over two months, the USDA’s Weekly 22-90 Forward Delivery Period report has showcased a significant dip in load counts when compared to recent years. For example, compared to last year, the load counts are down by 7.4% and counts are also approximately 20-percent below the five-year average.

Sellers have played an aggressive hand with pricing out front particularly in February as uncertainty continues to mount, the aggressiveness comes amid a margin battle as packers battle rising...

Full Story »
Mar 8 8:12 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Headwinds at the Broiler Hatchery

If there is one resounding theme which has been glaringly apparent throughout our market canvassing efforts recently, it is the fact that there is an underlying lack of chicken production making the rounds. While the call from traditional purchasing channels remains consistent, spot outreach efforts themselves aren’t necessarily any stronger than what historic seasonality would suggest here in early March. As touched on in last week’s analysis, year-over-year (YoY) reductions in frozen inventory levels, along with lighter-than-anticipated live weights, and a 3% dip in cumulative headcount when...

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Mar 8 7:57 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Australia’s Beef Exports Continued to Rise Behind Higher Output, Strong Demand

Australia’s beef/veal exports for February continued to rise, nearing levels last seen in Feb 19, up 24% m-o-m or 18,249 mt to 93,834 mt, driven by higher country output and robust demand from Asia and the US, data from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (D.A.F.F) indicated.

The ongoing upward trajectory since the start of the year is also attributed to increased processing intensity, eased export restrictions with China, and rising cattle slaughter rates.

Notably, exports to Japan reached a 52-week high at 23,794 mt...

Full Story »
Mar 7 9:34 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Hopping Towards the Holiday

Seafood maintains its lion’s share of total feature volume with 37% this week, up from 28.6% the week prior. At present, 42% of seafood features stem from the fresh/frozen fillet category as retailers look to capture sales from Lent observers.

Tilapia and salmon have the greatest percentages of feature volume within the fillet category. With prices comparable to or below year-ago levels, retailers were keen to give the two species a larger chunk of circular real estate.

Fresh salmon, the top seller within the finfish category last week, retailed at...

Full Story »
Mar 6 7:10 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Strong Quality Grade, Demand Lull, Dampens Certified Angus Beef® Rib Prices

A lull in demand and an over-performing quality grade have led to a lackluster situation within the Certified Angus Beef® (CAB) rib primal. Both bone-in and boneless product are stuck below year-ago levels. Urner Barry’s CAB Lip-On UP quote is currently listed at $10.75/lb., about 2% below this time last year. The prices have also plummeted about 17% year-to-date but sit about 18% higher than the five-year average...

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Mar 5 8:38 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Shifting Market Dynamics Alter Trend Between Cattle and Corn Prices

Cash corn and cattle prices followed a comparable track over the past ten years. However, that tandem trend began to change starting in 2022 due to significant shifts in market dynamics for both commodities.

Omaha, US No 2 Yellow Corn prices peaked at $8.43 per bushel in June 2022, closely challenging the record hit in 2012. The rise in corn prices that year was driven in part by supply disruptions created by the Russia-Ukraine war, as Ukraine is a major supplier of grains to the world markets...

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Feb 28 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Plenty to Munch on in March

Baseball, basketball, briskets, and the list goes on! Retailers have their sights set on spring demand with March just around the corner. Next month brings several buying opportunities and a refresh for the retail food landscape following the February slump.

Just a little over two weeks out is St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. Bar and foodservice establishments are expected to benefit from patrons out and about for the holiday, which falls on a weekend this year.

Consumers in the U.S. also celebrate the holiday with corned beef, which is made...

Full Story »
Feb 28 7:50 AM, UB Newswires


Missouri Prime Beef Packers to Close Processing Plant in April

In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice to the state Monday, Missouri Prime Beef Packers announced it will close its processing plant in Pleasant Hope, Missouri due to unforeseeable business circumstances.

The plant will close on April 26, 2024, resulting in the termination of 335 full-time employees. The bulk of layoffs will impact fabrication staff. The closure may be permanent or temporary, added yesterday's letter

Operations at the Missouri Prime plant officially started in March 2021. The 100,000-square-foot facility was...

Full Story »
Feb 27 6:55 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Lighter Cattle Weights and Reduced Output Pull YTD Beef Production Lower

The impact of last month’s winter storms across the U.S. is illustrated in average cattle weights, which have dropped precipitously since the start of the year.

The latest USDA data indicated dressed steer weights at 909 pounds, up 1 pound from last year but 3 pounds below the week prior. Steer weights started the year at 937 pounds, a seasonal all-time high. Average dressed heifer weights were reported at 827 pounds, up 2 pounds from the week prior but 6 pounds under 2023 and down 24...

Full Story »
Feb 22 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Finalizing February’s Features

Retailers are finalizing their February features while actively preparing for spring demand, which is bolstered by seasonal factors like warmer weather along with holidays including St. Patrick’s Day and Easter.

Retail features are shifting from red meat and poultry towards seafood as Lenten observers begin the 40 days of fasting and reduced meat consumption. 

The seafood complex continues to hold the top spot within total protein features, accounting for 37% this week. Beef follows with 21% of retail buying opportunities, while pork closes in at 19%. Chicken claims almost 16% of ad space, nearly...

Full Story »
Feb 21 7:55 AM, UB Newswires


Mintec Completes Fourth IOSCO Accreditation for Proprietary Agrifood Prices

Mintec and leading brands, Urner Barry and Feedinfo complete the latest IOSCO accreditation for proprietary agri-food commodity prices.

Mintec has successfully completed an independent review of its proprietary food ingredient and agricultural commodity price assessment process for a fourth consecutive year. The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) review encompassed 66 assessments for the company as a whole (including owned brands Urner Barry and Feedinfo) across the agri-food supply chain. Mintec achieved 41 Type 2 and 25 Type 1 assurances across its...

Full Story »
Feb 15 6:37 AM, Urner Barry


The Retail Rundown: Surf and Turf Promotions for Valentine's Day

It's Cupid's Day and love is in the air for the foodservice sector as consumers celebrate with an evening out and a special meal.

Following the Super Bowl craze, the balance of this month is generally lackluster for retail. However, increased demand for premium cuts of meat and seafood helps to lift overall protein sales, especially for restaurants and fine dining establishments.

Various restaurant chains were showcasing Valentine's Day promotions last weekend and continue to offer special deals for the upcoming weekend including prix fixe menus for two.

Consumers planning...

Full Story »
Feb 14 6:30 AM, UB Newswires


CDFA Issues New Proposition 12 Guidance Document on Certificates

The California Department of Agriculture's (CDFA) Animal Care Program has issued a new guidance document to aid stakeholders in distinguishing between the various certificates issued for Proposition 12 compliance.

Proposition 12 (2018) went fully into effect on January 1, 2024. The law prohibits the sale of shell eggs, liquid eggs, whole pork meat, or whole veal meat in California from animals that fail to comply with specific standards for freedom of movement, cage-free design, and specified minimum floor space. 

The Supreme Court upheld Proposition 12...

Full Story »
Feb 12 8:00 AM, UB Newswires







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