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ANALYSIS: The Impact of Labor Issues on Hams

 

Ever since the first COVID-19 shutdowns, labor-related conversion issues have plagued the US ham market. As more and more bone-in hams couldn’t be...

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Aug 27 8:39 AM, Urner Barry



US Food Retail: Where Did Consumers Go During Covid-19? 

While the fact that food retailers have benefited enormously from stay-at-home orders and restaurant closures is hardly news, a deeper look into credit/debit card transactions reveals their different impacts across food retail categories in both brick-and-mortar and online environments. We translated these data points into six learnings from the most eventful year in the food industry in generations, as well as into insights as to how players can sustain the momentum in a post-Covid economy.

- Online is the big winner, but summer may bring a temporary halt. Recent data indicates a likely temporary halt to this expansion in Q2 2021, as cases...

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Jul 9 8:34 AM, General News


May Retail Sales Reach Near-Record Level Despite Monthly Decline

Retail sales remained at elevated levels in May despite month-to-month fluctuations that masked near-record performance, the National Retail Federation said.

“While May retail sales were down slightly, largely due to supply chain constraints, the more accurate indicator remains in the year-over-year data which, as the NRF calculates, showed growth of over 17 percent,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “For the first five months of this year, retail sales are already tracking 17.6 percent above the same five months of 2020, giving us further confidence in our newly revised sales forecast of growth between 10.5 percent and 13.5 percent to more than $4.44 trillion for 2021. While there are downside risks related to...

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Jun 17 8:24 AM, General News


Pork Quarterly Q2 2021: Production Setbacks Slow Growth, Boosting Prices and Returns

Global hog prices are sharply higher in most markets, as processors scramble to find adequate supplies. Higher disease losses in key growing regions, along with the lagged impact of industry liquidation during the pandemic, have limited available hog supplies. Rabobank expects a gradual recovery in the herd, yet higher raising costs and demand uncertainty are expected to moderate the pace of growth. Lower production expectations have left the market short of pork, just as demand is beginning to strengthen. The imbalance is driving pork prices sharply higher in many markets, which is slowly being passed through to consumers, contributing to overall inflationary trends.

China: Herd losses due to new ASF outbreaks and health challenges are slowing the recovery. While below earlier expectations, the sow herd is flat vs. 2020 and will expand through year-end as...

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May 6 8:26 AM, General News


U.S. Consumer Confidence Up Sharply Again in April

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose sharply again in April, following a substantial gain in March. The Index now stands at 121.7 (1985=100), up from 109.0 in March. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—soared from 110.1 to 139.6. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—rose moderately, from 108.3 last month to 109.8 in April.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was...

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Apr 28 8:34 AM, General News


Apr 27 9:46 AM, Urner Barry

State of the Market Episode 15: The Boxed Beef Market

This week on State of the Market, Market Digest host Laura Zinger and Urner Barry Market Reporter Gary Morrison discuss the boxed beef market. Gary walks us through the Insights tab on COMTELL and gives an update on commodity prices moving higher across the board. Gary details how the supply chain backup is affecting prices, and what stimulus spending has done for the market.

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ANALYSIS: Commodity Prices Surging Higher; Is This the Next Supercycle?

Commodity prices have moved higher coming out of the initial phase of the pandemic with the price trough seen in...

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Apr 19 8:32 AM, Urner Barry


March Retail Sales See Strong Rebound Amid Increased Vaccination and Government Stimulus

Retail sales rebounded with huge gains in March as government checks fattened consumers’ bank accounts and more vaccination against COVID-19 made it easier for shoppers to get out of the house and lead the acceleration of the U.S. economy, the National Retail Federation said.

“The dramatic increase of nearly 18 percent in March retail sales over the same period last year confirms that a confident consumer is driving the economic rebound, and that should continue through the remainder of 2021,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “American households are clearly feeling the full effect of additional fiscal stimulus, gains in the job market and the reopening of the economy. Although there have been some recent issues related to vaccines, consumer confidence remains...

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Apr 19 8:30 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Boxed Beef Cutout Surges at Record Pace to Start Year

Boxed beef prices have remained elevated to the start the year. In fact, demand has been...

 

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Apr 9 8:33 AM, Urner Barry


Retail Import Surge Expected Through Summer

The unprecedented surge of imports at retail container ports that began last summer is expected to continue at least through the end of this summer as retailers work to meet increased consumer demand, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“We’ve never seen imports at this high a level for such an extended period of time,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Records have been broken multiple times and near-record numbers are happening almost every month. Between federal stimulus checks and money saved by staying home for the better part of a year, consumers have money in their pockets and...

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Apr 9 8:27 AM, General News


NRF: One Year Later, Economy 'Has Come a Long Way'

With more vaccines in arms, federal stimulus putting money into pockets and consumers shopping again, the U.S. economy has made dramatic progress since the coronavirus pandemic brought activity to a near-standstill this time last year, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.

“The economy has come a long way compared with a year ago,” Kleinhenz said. “Both monetary policy set by the Federal Reserve and fiscal policy set by Congress and the White House have responded with swift and overwhelming force to support the economy. NRF is optimistic that the recovery is...

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Apr 6 8:27 AM, General News


US Foodservice: Expect an Even Bigger Lift From the Third Stimulus

Checks under the USD 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the third and largest stimulus package since the pandemic outbreak, began rolling out mid-March. The US government expects nearly 85% of all US residents – adults, children, seniors – to receive direct payments of up to USD 1,400 based on household income. The ongoing stimulus is substantially higher than the last two in April and December 2020, which included direct payments of USD 1,200 (plus USD 500 per child) and USD 600 (plus USD 600 per child), respectively.

Recipients Spent 10% to 15% More in Restaurants Following the Last Two Rounds of Stimulus

Credit/debit card transaction data from Earnest Research, a data analytics firm that tracks the US consumer economy through foot traffic, credit/debit card spend, retail pricing, and healthcare data, shows...

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Apr 5 8:26 AM, General News


February Retail Sales Show Strong Year-Over-Year Growth as Vaccine and Stimulus Provide a Boost

Retail sales gained considerable year-over-year traction in February – despite a monthly slowdown from unusually high numbers in January – as increased COVID-19 vaccination, government stimulus and reduced restrictions on businesses continued to impact the pace of spending, the National Retail Federation said.

“February’s retail sales numbers are a minor speed bump on the road to post-pandemic recovery and are not a reflection of consumers’ willingness and ability to spend and drive the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "A number of factors contributed to these results, including major snowstorms in the northeast and unprecedented ice storms in the south, but they do not diminish the stimulus-related growth we saw in January or what we expect to see as additional stimulus relief hits consumer bank accounts in...

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Mar 18 8:15 AM, General News


What’s on the Menu: Global Foodservice Outlook

In many countries, including those in Europe and North America, Covid-19-related disruptions remain the most relevant driver of foodservice performance in the near term, as sales and foot traffic trends remain well-below pre-Covid levels. Notably, China, which is ahead of the curve in terms of both virus outbreak and containment, could be a potential indicator of the likely speed and scope of the foodservice recovery as the virus subsides.

As vaccinations and treatment advance, the focus of attention will shift from near-term recovery to more strategic matters. The most relevant performance drivers over the next 6 to 12 months will be...

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Mar 15 8:55 AM, General News


Statement from Tom Vilsack on Congressional Passage of the American Rescue Plan Act

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on passage of the American Rescue Plan Act by the U.S. Congress. The bill now goes to President Biden for his signature.

“President Biden wasted no time fulfilling his pledge to the American people to bring substantial financial relief within the first 100 days of his Administration. Thanks to passage of the American Rescue Plan, help is on the way. The American Rescue Plan will jolt our economy back to life, get money into the hands of struggling Americans, get our children back to school safely, get COVID-19 vaccinations out more swiftly, and...

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Mar 12 8:19 AM, General News


January Retail Sales Show Strong Increase Boosted by Stimulus Funds and Record Holidays

Retail sales grew sharply in January as government stimulus checks provided a boost and momentum from 2020’s record holiday season carried over into the new year, the National Retail Federation said.

“January’s retail sales numbers reflect a very strong start for consumers and retailers as we look ahead to a critical year curbing the global pandemic and strengthening our economic recovery,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers and the economy as a whole remain in good shape despite unprecedented adversity over the past year, and congressional action has been a lifeline for...

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Feb 19 8:26 AM, General News


2020 Holiday Season: One for the Record Books at Retail

Record holiday season retail sales during the last two months of 2020 reflected the recovering economy but also got a boost from consumer emotions after a stressful year, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.

“This was not a typical holiday season and it took place amid an unprecedented shopping landscape,” Kleinhenz said. “When we assembled our 2020 holiday forecast, we knew one scenario was that results could come in high and that sales might exceed...

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Feb 3 8:29 AM, General News


NRF Says 2020 Holiday Sales Grew 8.3 Percent Despite Pandemic

Retail sales during 2020’s November-December holiday season grew an unexpectedly high 8.3 percent over the same period in 2019 to $789.4 billion, exceeding the National Retail Federation’s holiday forecast despite the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, NRF said. The numbers include online and other non-stores sales, which were up 23.9 percent at $209 billion.

“Despite unprecedented challenges, consumers and retailers demonstrated incredible resilience this holiday season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Faced with rising transmission of the virus, state restrictions on retailers and...

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Jan 19 8:23 AM, General News


Contract Broiler Growers Can Begin to Apply for Federal COVID-19 Relief on January 19

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between January 19 and February 26.

Contract producers of broilers, pullets, laying hens, chicken eggs (breeders), turkeys and...

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Jan 18 9:29 AM, General News


NRF Welcomes Necessary Aid as Biden Unveils Stimulus Plan

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to the release of President-elect Biden’s plan to combat the coronavirus and stimulate the nation’s economic recovery.

“The stimulus plan released by President-elect Biden is expansive in scope, but it serves as an encouraging signal that the new administration intends swift action to support businesses and...

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Jan 15 9:46 AM, General News


Global Consumer Confidence Improved in Q4

Global consumer confidence increased in the fourth quarter of 2020, driven largely by an improved outlook for personal finances—which, in many regions, reflect unprecedented fiscal measures in response to COVID-19. Prospects for jobs and spending intentions saw smaller improvements in Q4, according to The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey.

Conducted in collaboration with Nielsen, the survey found that overall global consumer confidence climbed to 98 in Q4 2020, up six points from 92 in Q2 2020. A reading below 100 is considered...

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Jan 13 8:27 AM, General News


2020 Retail Imports May Break Record Despite Pandemic

Imports seen during 2020 appear to be headed toward a new record despite the coronavirus pandemic, and remain at high levels as 2021 begins, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Nobody would have thought last spring that 2020 would be a record year for imports, but it was clearly an unpredictable year,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Consumers and retailers once again proved their resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges. Thanks in part to government stimulus, retail sales saw...

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Jan 12 8:22 AM, General News


NRF Chief Economist says Latest Stimulus will Help Continue Recovery from Pandemic

Economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic will continue in 2021, but stimulus legislation signed into law just after Christmas will help maintain and accelerate the nation’s ongoing recovery, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.

“As we closed out 2020, it was an end to a whirlwind year whose challenging economic environment will almost certainly continue in 2021,” Kleinhenz said. “The coming year might be just as eventful as the economic recovery faces many uncertainties...

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Jan 6 8:29 AM, General News


Meat and Poultry Industry Reacts to COVID-19 Stimulus Package 

The COVID-19 stimulus bill agreed upon by Congress contains language that would authorize the USDA to provide up to $1 billion in assistance to contract chicken growers for revenue losses sustained because of the pandemic. According to the bill, the fund is specifically for contract growers of livestock and poultry to cover up to 80% of revenue losses.

Mike Brown, President of the National Chicken Council, said, "On behalf of the chicken industry and our farm families across the country, I want to personally thank Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) for his leadership and his support in helping to secure this vital funding...

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Dec 22 10:04 AM, Urner Barry


November Retail Sales give Holiday Season Solid Start

November retail sales dipped from the month before but still showed the sixth consecutive monthly year-over-year gain by government calculations and set the stage for a healthy holiday shopping season compared with last year despite the pandemic, the National Retail Federation said today.

“Consumers held back on spending in November as virus rates spiked, states imposed retail restrictions and congressional stimulus discussions were gridlocked,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While consumers have been bolstered by increases in disposable income and savings, it’s clear that additional...

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Dec 18 7:01 AM, General News


Election Results – Where Are We Now? 

With the Presidential election, the House, and a runoff election to determine the Senate Majority, the only thing certain in Washington is change. In a webinar hosted by the North American Meat Institute, a panel of experts provided insights and discussed the outcome of key races, the make-up of committees and leadership of Congress, pending changes of cabinet officials, and a new relationship between the White House and Congress, which together shape the agenda in Washington.

Panelists included the Honorable Blanche Lincoln, former Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry and Founder & Principal, Lincoln Policy Group; the Honorable Krysta Harden, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture; and...

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Dec 9 8:18 AM, Urner Barry


Restaurant Industry in Free Fall; 10,000 Close in Three Months

The National Restaurant Association sent a letter to Congressional leadership, sharing new survey findings that illustrate continued business deterioration across the restaurant industry and offering support for the moderate compromise proposal as a 'down payment' toward a larger relief package in early 2021.

"What these findings make clear is that more than 500,000 restaurants of every business type—franchise, chain, and independent—are in an economic

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Dec 9 8:15 AM, General News


NRF Chief Economist Says Pandemic Made this Year's Holiday Forecast the Most Challenging Ever

With the coronavirus pandemic presenting unique circumstances for the nation’s economy, forecasting retail holiday sales this year was more challenging than ever before, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.

“There is no doubt this is the most unusual economic environment in our lifetimes,” Kleinhenz said. “I cannot think of a period with so many simultaneous factors hitting the economy at once when formulating this forecast.”

NRF usually releases its annual holiday forecast in early October but...

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Dec 4 8:17 AM, General News


NRF Encouraged by Bipartisan Stimulus Package Conversations

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to the announcement of a $900 billion bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package. 

“NRF and our members have been vocal and consistent in our calls for additional, targeted fiscal stimulus and the extension of expiring coronavirus relief measures. We are encouraged by...

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Dec 2 8:55 AM, General News




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