Market Updates: November 18, 2016

Center of the Plate


Cash cattle is steady, with packers looking at reducing scheduled hours to keep beef from backing up. Almost all end cuts are in ample supply, with price discounts needed to keep them moving. Insides, flats and chucks are all lower for the week. Ground beef is also under pressure, but should improve as we enter the holiday shopping period.

Pricing Trend

Ground Beef 81%

Brisket CHC & SEL

Inside Round CHC & SEL

Ribeye CHC & SEL

Strips CHC & SEL

Ball Tips CHC & SEL

Tenders CHC & SEL

Flank Steak CHC & SEL

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Next Week’s Projections










Hog slaughter continues along near the industry capacity of 2.5 million head/week with dressed weights down about 1% from last year. Lower weights are an indication that producers are selling hogs right on schedule, but the fact that prices keep falling suggests that there are still plenty of hogs out there. Hams and butts are steady on good domestic and foreign demand; all other items are still barely steady, with bellies (bacon) dropping.

Pricing Trend






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Next Week’s Projections







White meat items are trading at levels which are attracting buying for freezer programs. Thigh meat is currently at 10% higher cost than breast meat, which is probably not sustainable; look for thigh meat prices to trend lower. Wings are tight with strong domestic and export interest.

Pricing Trend

Jumbo BNLS/SKNLS Breast

Clipped Tenderloins


Jumbo Wings

Medium Wings

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Now that we have switched over to fresh turkey packing, most plants are sold out of frozen hens, with a few Toms left.

Pricing Trend

UB Hens, East, 12 lb. Frozen

UB Toms, East, 22 lb. Frozen

UB Turkey Breast, East, 8-10 lb.

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Next Week’s Projections





New season gator is set to arrive shortly. Prices have softened slightly for new season supply. 

Asian Tiger Shrimp

Tiger shrimp continue to be short and have now expanded to the range of 21/25 and smaller. Production is down due to limited raw material. Packers that accepted orders have been limiting new offers, making replacement prices move even higher where raw material exists.

Asian White Shrimp

Asian white shrimp remain steady. Production has been up, but given the shortage of tigers there has been additional demand causing pricing to stabilize.

Brazilian Lobster   

Prices have started to firm as we approach the holiday season. Increased exports to Asia have put added pressure on supply coming to the U.S. Increased rejections by the FDA have caused the market to jump recently. Expect this to firm for the next few weeks and then level off until the summer season. Limson currently has adequate supply on all sizes.

Cape Haddie 

Stable costs continue for adequate demand.


Steady supply with increased demand of the 17-22 ct. size. Costs remain steady.

Cod – Alaskan Once Frozen

The Alaskan fall fishery for cod has been very poor. What has been harvested is under allocation at the moment. Supply is limited on both the 8/16 and the 16/32 and are expected to remain so until the A season opening.

Cod - Atlantic Once Frozen

The Atlantic Loins have been short for some time and Limson is just coming back into stock on most of these sizes. Cost have firmed slightly and supply is only adequate at this time.

Cod – Atlantic Twice Frozen

Berent Sea's 2017 quota is expected to go down by 10%. Raw material supply uncertain. Meanwhile, market price is firm and supply tight.

Cod – Pacific Twice Frozen

Pacific cod catch is poor. Raw material price is at Atlantic cod price level.

Domestic P&D Brown Shrimp     

Domestic catch rates continue to trend well below average, causing raw material prices to move upward. Pricing will remain firm until next season unless a significant change in catch rates occur.

Domestic Peeled (PUD) Shrimp   

Domestic catch rates continue to trend well below average, causing raw material prices to move upward. Pricing will remain firm until next season unless a significant change in catch rate occurs.

Domestic Rock & Pink Shrimp    

Rock shrimp continues to be short as it appears the summer and early fall seasons are a bust. There is still hope of more product coming out of Mexico off the Yucatan peninsula this fall. Pink shrimp continues to be a great alternative to this short product.

Domestic White & Brown Shrimp 

Domestic catch rates continue to trend well below average, causing raw material prices to move upward. Pricing will remain firm until next season unless a significant change in catch rate occurs.

Domestic Whitefish 

Limson has new season supply on all sizes of whitefish. The prime 8-10 oz. appear to be the hardest to come by at the moment. Season wraps up in November for the Native American fisheries for the winter.

Euro Lake Fish and Zander

Supply is good on all sizes and movement has been strong. The two euro lake perch sizes are a good option for the lack of perch on the domestic as is the zander pike perch for the lack of walleye as well. There has been a slight uptick on some costs for the fall due to the demand of domestic product as noted.


Large sizes continue to have supply challenges. Prices firming.


Many containers have been delayed coming out of China. The 8-10 size continues to be the hardest to come by in major quantities but as of this week Limson will be back in stock on this item as well. Costs are steady.

King Crab   

King Crab remains short with little relief expected until new season arrival later this fall. Costs are firming and are expected to climb. The brown crab season has started and first arrivals down to the lower 50 states have begun to trickle in but to date have not seen much relief on cost. There has been an announcement of a 15% quota cut on king crab out of Bristol Bay or the upcoming season but Russia indicates a quota increase by as much as 27%.

Latin White Shrimp  

Latin whites remain steady on smaller sizes. This market continues to move with Asian whites due to raw material availability.

Mahi Mahi   

Supply is very tight, costs are very firm. Containers coming out of Taiwan have experienced some delays. The new season out of South America began October 1, but to date there is no quote for new season supply or has there been any solid offers for quantity at this time. Expect prices to start out high for the season and taper off if the landings improve.


Demand has been strong for mussels as a low cost protein for some time. Currently supply is adequate and the new season should resume come late fall.

North Atlantic Lobster      

Costs have been firming on most sizes. The large 6/7 and up sizes have been short and we are hoping for good landings out of Nova Scotia this fall to fill the void. We do not expect a stellar fall season like 2015, so costs should firm prior to the holidays and carry over to the spring.

Ocean Perch 

The Canadian size of the 8-12 is currently available. To date there are no issues on supply and the price has remained steady.

Orange Roughy     

Supply is adequate for an average demand. Costs are currently stable.

Perch & Walleye     

To date over 90% of the yellow lake perch quota has been harvested. Costs have been firm for the summer and increasing this fall. Current cases will need to last until the spring season in May. To date, the larger sized Ohio perch has been the shortest and hardest to come by. There will be little to no supply available through the winter. The fall fishery for walleye is underway but landings have been sparse. We are hopeful to be able to harvest the bulk of the quote before the end of the season in December, but unless fishing improves this will be doubtful.

Pollock - Alaskan (1x Frozen)      

Expect 4/6 and the 6/8 to be in very short supply at best through February, including the Lenten season.


Prices are starting to firm as we move into the fall season. Spring/summer 2017 is expected to see more adequate supply due to increased biomass, etc. For now, supply is adequate for an average demand

Sea Bass     

Overall, supply remains very tight due to quota cuts, lack of comparable supply of like items (i.e. black cod), and an increased demand by China. Currently, Limson has supply of both the 6 and 8 oz. portions, but costs are firm. Product available through Christmas and to Lenten seasons.


Snapper supply is adequate on the 6/8 oz. sizes, but is currently short for the 4-6 oz. offering. Costs have remained steady.

Snow Crab 

The snow crab market continues to rise almost weekly. There is very limited supply on all sizes and more so on the smaller 5-8 ct. We do not expect any relief on costs possibly until the new season in the spring. The announcement that the Alaskan quota has been cut by as much as 50% is also increasing demand due to the anticipated lack of supply.

South African Lobster      

Supply is adequate for a lackluster demand. Overall, costs are high compared to other types of lobster and have remained so for this offering. D-size are currently the shortest on the market with their costs firming as of late.


Price have increased due to extra USDA inspections and restricting supply.


Supply and prices remain stable.


Current supply is adequate for and active demand. Prices have remained firm and are expected to remain so until after the first of the year.

Fruits, Vegetables & Dairy


Mexican and Peruvian product has become active. Look for a very unstable market the next few weeks.


Quality will remain good. Market will stay low with California, Maine and East Coast product all available at high levels.


Readily available.


California, Mexico, Georgia and East Coast all producing.


Salinas is still producing and Oxnard has begun. Look for short supply and extremely high markets with the upcoming holiday.


Supplies are from Mexico with great quality. 


Sourcing from Mexico with pricing and quality great.

Green Cabbage

Unseasonably warm weather has extended the local growing season a bit. Also, still sourcing New York product with great quality. Both should finish by the end of November. Georgia has begun in a small way.

Green Peppers

Supplies finishing in Georgia. Florida product will be ready next week. Quality remains good.


Supplies out of Georgia for the remainder of the winter. 

Hard Squash

Supplies are coming out of Michigan and Ohio for fall season.

Hothouse Tomatoes / Cucumbers / Peppers

Canadian and Mexican product is readily available with the market trying to stay strong. Look for the markets to be active with the possibility of a “flush” on certain items.

Iceberg Lettuce/Leaf Lettuce

Supplies out of Huron are finished. Yuma harvests started late last week. Quality should be very nice since the weather has been very good. Leaf Lettuce - transitioning to Yuma this week. 


Will be transitioning to Florida product the second week of November. Local product still going strong due to unseasonably warm weather.

Snap Beans

Georgia finished. Florida product coming in this week. 

Sweet Corn

Recently finished in Georgia. Florida product rolling. Quality and pricing has been great.

Slicers/Romas/Sweet Grape Tomatoes

Mexico and USA both producing.

Yellow Squash/Zucchini

Switching to Mexico supplies from now through next May. 

Idaho Potatoes

Excellent quality; good supplies. Large size potatoes in cartons are an outstanding value. 

Wisconsin Russets

Wisconsin russet crop has good supplies and excellent quality.

Red, White and Yellow Potatoes

Red potato market has stabilized after a very rough start. Quality continues to be very good, supplies are adequate, and pricing has stabilized. Gold potatoes have good quality, good supplies and moderate pricing. White potatoes are still in good supply with very good quality.

Sweet Potatoes

Excellent quality from all growing areas, good supplies and very moderate pricing.

Onions - Red/White/Yellow

Market continues with excellent quality, good supplies and very promotable pricing. 

Sweet Onions

Nevada and Peru are producing excellent quality product with ample supplies. Onions from Peru are enjoying outstanding quality and good supplies.


New crop Washington apples continue with new varieties on a weekly basis. Washington continues to expect a very nice apple crop this year as weather conditions have been favorable and sizing is expected to be larger on most sizes which could make for a challenging deal on smaller sized apples which will continue to get very high demand from the export markets. Honeycrisp apples from Washington currently seeing a strong market on higher grades of fruit with deals available on lower grades (USXF and US1).

Michigan has a number of varieties available presently - Galas, Fuji, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Gold Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonathan, Empire, Cortland and Jonamac. Braeburns getting started with light volumes. New York McIntosh Apples are available and quality is very good at this time, however it is a smaller than normal McIntosh crop out of New York this year so the market is staying fairly strong.


There is a significant difference in quality and condition available, depending on freshness and variety. There are also a few imports beginning to arrive, but very few shipping. The first Chilean vessel is due around December 8.


Bartletts, Anjou, Bosc and Red Starcrimsons are all now available and shipping from Washington.


Supplies readily available out of Mexico. Quality is great along with size and brix. Should remain this way for the late fall/early winter crop.


Supplies available from multiple countries that include Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Peru. Fruit has been very nice.


Wisconsin Ocean Spray cranberry season is in high gear. This season’s quality and availability look good for the holiday season.


Quality is good and will continue as we go into the late fall/early winter crop.


Strawberries continue to be a struggle which is normal this time of year. Florida has started in a very light way as has Mexico. This will assist with the limited amount of Southern California fruit. Florida berries will be smaller in size and Mexican fruit typically has an orange color so don’t be alarmed, the fruit is good.

California Citrus

Valencias - a few will work their way through, but most are juice oranges. Navels season has begun. Seeing typical early varieties, Becks and Fukomotos with some Fishers next week. Many shippers are struggling to come up with larger size fruit at the beginning of the deal, but this should improve with each passing week. Pricing should continue to settle in as season progresses. Grapefruit - Have shifted from Florida and have begun to pull from Texas on the bags while carton fruit continues from Florida.  Arrivals continue to be good with good exterior color. Lemon - District 3 (Desert) and District 1 supplying fruit currently. Mexico and Chile winding down. Pricing should remain somewhat stable in the coming weeks with little to no change in the market this week. 

Imported Citrus

Import clementines have been from Chile recently but will begin from Spain and Morocco during this week. Expect vessels to be cleared for shipment during the middle part of the week and fruit to be available. Halos have arrived. Availability was limited last week when shipments began from California, but availability should improve quickly.


Arizona harvest is struggling for any decent sizing. Peak sizes are 12 ct. and 15 ct. and very few 9 ct. being harvested. Market is much higher on 9 ct. as demand exceeds supply. Market on 12 ct. and 15 ct. is steady. Look for imports to begin next week.


Arizona and Mexican honeydew harvests continue with good quality and adequate volumes. Look for Imported honeydews from Guatemala to begin next week.


Currently sourcing from Mexico on seedless. South Florida should begin harvesting in two weeks. Demand has slowed seasonally. Market is weaker. Personal seedless watermelons are now being sourced from Mexico. A small fall crop from Florida will start in two weeks and look for imports from Guatemala to begin in mid-November. Demand and market are steady.  


Chilean cherries are now being flown in with light volume


Fuyus and Hachiyas are in full swing.


Still a lot of uncertainty in the market but have seen recent relief in pricing due to lack of demand. Expect prices to continue to drop until growers see an increase in movement.

Florida Avocado

Will remain available with prices slightly higher than normal due to a smaller than normal crop.


New crop Italian now arriving to United States in good supplies with sizing on smaller side. Italian fruit will be the primary source of supply going forward for the next six months.


Market from Mexico remains steady on most sizes. Current reports indicate a wide range in quality and condition on the open market. Supplies and pricing are expected to remain steady in the weeks ahead.


Supplies have transitioned to Ecuador. Market is stable. 


Solo papayas are currently available from Brazil; supplies are stable. Maradol variety is tight at the present time due to labor issues in Central America. 


Market is stable currently with overall demand reported as being relatively light, but that should change as the holidays approach. Mexico production is picking up.


Heavy rains have a damper on volume of #1 fruit available. Expect the better fruit to start to increase. 


Very good volume currently and expected to continue for next couple weeks.

Organic Broccoli & Cauliflower

Broccoli and Cauliflower are currently steady.

Organic Bunch Vegetables

All herbs very promotable right now - parsleys, cilantro, etc. Good pricing also on leeks and fennel.

Organic Carrots

Market is steady; quality is good.

Organic Celery & Celery Hearts

Quality is good.

Organic Chard

Chard is in good supply and quality is good.

Organic Cucumbers

Pricing and supply has improved as Mexico has come on in a strong way.

Organic Hard Squash

Good pricing on Acorn, Butternut and Spaghetti is becoming more scarce and more expensive due to heavy scarring this season on local Midwest product.

Organic Kale

Kales are good; market is steady. There is aggressive pricing out there on west coast kale. Local has tightened up considerably.

Organic Lettuces

Currently steady. Some earwig pressure being seen on iceberg causing availability issues from some growers.

Organic Onions

Watch for individual wrapped jumbo organics available beginning next week.

Organic Peppers

Mexico has started up with red, yellow and orange available.

Organic Potatoes

Good supplies available currently in new Washington crop. Quality is good.

Organic Romaine Hearts

Romaine hearts are steady.

Organic Root Vegetables

Bunch beets have come back and availability is good.

Organic Squash

Local fruit has virtually finished up. Mexico has come on strong and pricing is very good right now on zucchini and yellow.

Organic Tomatoes

Good supplies and pricing being seen on grapes and romas. 

Organic Yams

Pricing has begun to come down slightly.

Organic Apples

Organic apple availability is stable as Washington has steady volume with new crop organic Galas, Fuji, Granny Smiths, Gold Delicious and Red Delicious. Organic Pink Lady Apples will be available by early November. There are promotable volumes available currently on most all varieties, especially Galas, Fujis and Red Delicious. Organic Honeycrisp out of Washington are very tight and demand exceeds supply at the present time.

Organic Avocados

Still a lot of uncertainty in the market but have seen recent relief in pricing due to lack of demand. Expect prices to continue to drop until growers see an increase in movement.

Organic Citrus

Lemons - pricing had dropped significantly. Look for promotional opportunities in the coming weeks. Good pricing on some choice fruit. Valencia - United States crop finishing, watch for prices to be higher until Mexican crop starts up. Navels - starting in a small way. Look for availability to improve in the coming weeks. Grapefruit - California is extremely tight. Product is available but pricing has risen. Fruit is smaller. Look for this to improve in the coming weeks. 

Organic Grapes

Organic red and greens supplies solid right now. Organic black seedless grapes have finished. Look for this to change in the end of November and for the pack size to drop signaling the approach of the season’s end.

Organic Kiwi

New Zealand fruit is finishing. Italian will start up in next couple weeks. 

Organic Mangos

Organic red mangos currently.

Organic Melons

Mexican supplies have started on minis and honeydew.

Organic Pears

New crop Bartlett, Starcrimsons, Anjou and Bosc pears are currently shipping from Washington with decent supplies.

Organic Persimmons

Availability being seen on both Hachiya and Fuyu varieties.

Organic Pomegranates

Good pricing.


Dairy Category

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Current Week

Block Cheese



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Large Eggs



Medium Eggs



Small Eggs




The CME Block Market has been holding steady, while the Barrel market has dropped to the largest separation in several years. There is ample Barrel product to be brought to the market and not as much Block. Speculators feel over the next few weeks the Block will move towards to Barrel. The markets traditionally stay fairly quiet next week due to the holiday.


Processed eggs are fully available. Within shell eggs, retail demand is improving. Supplies are still long and the market is attempting to settle. 


Butter prices seem to be in the last throes of the holiday demand period and lower prices are expected soon.  The domestic fundamentals that have driven butter prices for the last 2 years are mixed, with very large stocks offsetting good demand. The surprising price drop in the face of peak holiday demand last month could be a sign of things to come. Expectations of the November 30 stocks number may exceed 200 million pounds – the highest level in 20 years. By itself, that should push prices lower with more downside than upside in prices. 

Grocery & Bakery


Semolina flour prices edged higher as elevators raised their selling price for durum wheat. Much of the late-harvested durum crop was hit by wet/cold weather. A significant portion of this late wheat is testing positive for vomitoxin, a mycotoxin that can occur in grains and makes them inedible. Until elevators have a better fix on how much of the durum crop is infected, milling quality durum wheat prices will likely be firm.

Pricing Trend

High-Gluten Flour

Semolina Pasta Flour

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Next Week’s Projections




Soybean oil briefly traded above the 32.50 - 35.50 range predicted by the USDA, but has since dropped back to the middle of that range.

Pricing Trend

Soybean Oil

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Cane harvesting is well underway, but prices remain firm as refiners scramble to line up supply for this year. Cane sugar refiners have depended on imports of raw sugar from Mexico to keep their plants running, but there has been no adjustment to the 2014 countervailing duty that would ensure more Mexican raw sugar becomes available.