Market Updates for April 20, 2018
Dairy | Cheese
The CME Block and Barrel markets have moved again into an untraditional spread as we saw earlier this year. Speculators feel the current movements in the Block and Barrel Markets will soon move back to more traditional spreads. Block look to be pushing the ceiling and could have some retraction in the coming days.
Dairy | Eggs
The market has began to lower and should continue over the next several weeks. Retail demand fair. Larger sizes generally balanced. Mediums improved. Market steady.
Dairy | Butter
Cream is readily available and manufacturers are taking advantage with strong production to meet current and future needs. Exports are increasing but there is ample inventories to meet these and domestic needs.
Produce | Brussels Sprouts
The market is steadily increasing as seasonal harvests in Mexico are winding down. Expect an elevated market to develop by late April and persist through May.
Produce | Onions
Fresh-run, Texas-grown onions are expected on the market soon. The crop will be dominated by medium and jumbo sizes. Fresh-run onions will have feathery skins and light color/exterior skins compared to Northwest storage onions' darker, more cured skins.
Produce | Strawberries
California strawberry supplies are increasing; warmer weather has promoted growth. More rain is expected.
Produce | Grapes
Grape prices are slightly higher; green seedless stocks are transitioning into storage.
Seafood | Finfish
Alaskan A season opened in January but supply remains tight and costs have firmed, this is partly due to decreased quota in other regions of the world. Costs have remained elevated even after Lent and are expected to remain this way through the end of the year.
The 1x frozen cod loins have been firm but steady on cost as that fishery has started to rebound. Sales were strong for Lent as we await new season arrival in late May early June. 1x frozen fillets out of Russia have been steady but expect costs to increase with the arrival of spring supply. A total allowable catch reduction out of the Barents Sea by as much as 13% has put considerable pressure on cod supply and cost world wide.
Fishing is poor and prices are expected to firm continuously for all of 2018.
Heavy Restrictions on total allowable catch in certain Alaskan fishing grounds. Raw material is more expensive than Atlantic cod and expected to firm continuously for all of 2018.
Expect cost to firm on the 1x frozen pollock as we start to move into the summer season. With cod costs rising and the overall lack of supply of that commodity, many are switching to the cheaper priced pollock. While pollock still is at a cost savings and a value this added pressure on supply has resulted in increased costs for this species as well.
Typical slight firming of pricing during this time of the year. Starting to see substitution demand from cod users.
Raw material prices firming due to the cheapest groundfish compared to Pacific and Atlantic cod. Continued substitutions from cod consumers driving up demand and cost.
Whitefish remains stable at this time on both cost and supply.
The Lake Erie Committee recently announced the quotas for the 2018 fishing season. Perch total allowable catches / quota is to remain relatively the same while the walleye quota has increased by approx 8 % lake wide. Supply currently is adequate and costs are declining as we anticipate the start of the new season in May.
Supply is good and costs are expected to decline now after Lent. This is a more cost effective substitute for the higher priced domestic lake fish items where applicable.
Cost and supply has been stable for some time and is expected to remain so through the summer season out of Asia. Mexican grouper is very short and costs firm almost weekly if supply is available Expect this to remain tight and very short until fishing resumes.
The S American mahi season began last fall and costs have softened compared to last season. Expect these prices to continue to trend downward and stabilize over the next few weeks. Supply is good.
Costs are starting to firm as supply has become short. Fishing is over , quotas are closed and the boats out of that region have re-rigged for swordfish. We do not expect any relief until the factory vessels return in at best 60-90 days with new supply.
Consistent supply and cost.
Frozen tuna has been very steady on supply and cost out of Asia for all cuts and sizes. Expect this to continue to be stable for the next few months.
Cost fingerlings increased after Chinese New Year instead when market expected a drop. US trade commission assesses preliminary higher duty rates in swai. Prices firm with short supply until end of 2018/early 2019.
Low production during this time of the year. Prices recently firm.
The Canadian ocean perch remains steady for now on cost and supply.
Costs and supply are stable
: Argentinian Flounder is still short to non existent at the moment. With the lack of domestic supply as well there is added stress on the supply. To date there is little to offer and we are unsure when this will correct itself on the market.
: Haddie as adequate with limited demand. Costs are stable. Whiting out of Argentina for Lent is in great demand for foreign countries and has put pressure on continued supply. 4/6 skinless is the shortest on the market at the moment. We are hoping for relief with post Lent shipments that are expected to arrive in country by the middle of May.
Seafood | Shellfish
Black Tiger shrimp prices are stable and supply is improving on smaller sizes. There are shortages of large sizes due to limited production (2-4 through 8-12).
White shrimp prices are at a great value due to their recent declines as we head into spring. Demand has been steady and is expected to increase into the warmer months. Raw material minimums are being implemented overseas to protect the market from going to an unstable level but demand will drive market prices.
Latin White shrimp are mostly stable in pricing however buying interest has been high on shrimp smaller than 41/50 HLSO which could lead to markets firming.
Domestic White & Brown shrimp continue to move upward due to limited availability and good demand. There is a lack of inventory to carry from last season to next, which puts pressure on prices to move up in an attempt to stretch inventory. Boats have also moved off these species where they can to target pink shrimp.
: Domestic PUD shrimp are following the same trend as White & Brown Headless. Prices are stable at listed levels as early spring production has not been substantial. Additional fishing will be had as we run into May/June, which hopefully yield cost reductions.
Rock & Pink shrimp are both in good supply. Pink shrimp in particular have had very good catch rates in the last few weeks as boats have moved away from browns and whites to target them specifically.
Replacement cost of goods has increased as of late where the larger sizes are reported to be shorter on the market. Do not expect much relief on supply until the new season arrivals in July.
Tail prices have been firm as there has been a big draw for product in various forms to Asia. (whole cooks, whole raw etc) Product is very short at the moment as we go into new season supply come May. We do not expect costs to decrease til after Mothers Day and this will be predominantly in the smaller sizes. The meat market for most of the year has been very sloppy coming off historical highs. Most predict this to level out this year to reasonable levels below the cost of tails.
Stable with some slight softening on the smaller H and G tails.
King crab supply is very short to none of the USA production. Most at the moment is being imported from Russia. The live trade from Russia to China is impacting the Russian cost. For now costs remain elevated overall with supply adequate.
The global shortage of snow crab will continue in 2018. The Canadian quotas have been announced by Fisheries and Oceans Canada with the overall quota down by 27% for all of Canada. The Alaskan quota has already announced a smaller total allowable catch (TAC) as well. For now costs remain elevated and supply tight especially on the larger sizes 8 and 10 ups. We are expecting our first formal offers this week, but first indications are that they will start above last seasons initial prices as most processors / vendors have little available from last season as the cupboards are bare.
The scallop season has begun one month later in April for the 2018 season and boats have made a mad dash to get started. With the announcement of newly opened restricted areas and an overall increase in quota we expect costs to lower and stabilize to more reasonable levels by late May into June.
Stable on cost and supply.
Stable on cost and supply.
The 2017 Hurricane season in the gulf has affected the production and the seeding of the oysters. The raw material is routinely traded out of the gulf and along the east coast but the volatile seas have resulted in fewer oysters overall. Expect cost to increase over time for the lack of adequate supply.
Seafood | Specialty Seafood
Frogs continue to be short and costs have firmed quickly and continue to firm, if you have options on supply. It will be doubtful if many more options on supply present themselves until the new season arrivals in the fall. FDA continues to detain frogs for testing of antibiotics etc and in turn has increased rejections. As a result many exporters from Asia now decline to export. That, and increased Asian domestic consumption have dramatically affected supply and cost.
Costs have firmed lately for both farmed and wild gator. Many expect product to be short until the new season harvest in September. The lack of demand for hides is what has put pressure on and increased the overall costs for the meat.