Market Updates for January 25, 2019

Section Type

Dairy | Cheese

The Block and Barrel Markets have continued to be bearish. Speculators feel this will continue with the current environment trades are being made in. The weather has been mild with no current effect on milk production.

Last week:

Block - Up

Barrel - Down

This Week:

Block - Down

Barrel - Down

Dairy | Eggs

Retail demand good. Supplies tight. Market firm.

 

Last week:

Large - Up

Medium - Up

Small - Up

This Week:

Large - Up

Medium - Up

Small - Up

Dairy | Butter

Butter manufacturers continue to their seasonal building for later use, especially summer. Demand is up across markets and a bit higher than it traditionally is for this time in the year.  Spot pricing remains relatively steady while futures are showing increases going in to the back half of the year.  

Last week:

Butter - Up

This Week:

Butter - Down

Grocery & Bakery | Wheat

Wheat futures recovered as rumors that Russia may slow exports circulate.

Grocery & Bakery | Soybean Oil

Soybean oil prices are approaching the middle of the USDA's $0.28-$0.32/lb range. Reports that hot dry weather is shrinking Brazil's soybean crop triggered some price recovery.

Grocery & Bakery | Sugar

Beet sugar.prices are inching higher as available supplies tighten.

Meat | Beef

Cattle slaughter is down 5% from pre-holiday peaks; cattle prices have stalled as demand slows. Smaller supplies will likely support beef prices.

Ground Beef:

Smaller production and lighter cattle (with less fat) are shrinking the supply of 50% trimmings. Ground beef prices are edging higher.

Ribs:

Rib prices are at the upper end of where they usually trade this time of year. Packers are holding to list prices; discounting only after product is over 21 days age.

Briskets:

Prices often drift lower in January and this year appears to be no exception. While prices have declined from recent peaks we are still sitting 14% higher than last January.

Rounds:

Round prices dipped last week, but supplies have since cleaned up and prices are firming.

Strips:

Prices have been trading sideways, typical for this time of year.

Tenders:

Tender prices are holding at the high end of their historical range for this time of year. Packers are discounting forward sales to keep spot supplies tight.

Thin Meats:

Seasonally-declining beef production is usually price supportive for thin meats in the winter. Prices are higher than last January.

Meat | Pork

Packers have been cranking out 5% more pork in the last few weeks as strong bacon prices support margins. Winter storms and deteriorating margins are starting to trigger more downtime; supplies should shrink.

Butts:

Butt prices are at the lowest level since 2011. Prices should lift as output is cut back.

Hams:

Ham prices are mostly sideways at 10-year lows as big production keeps pipelines full.

Bacon/Bellies:

Belly prices were lifted by QSR promotions which tightened supply considerably. As promotions wind down buyers have turned cautious and prices are slipping.

Ribs:

Rib prices have been mostly sideways as big production puts a lid on prices. Reduced output should allow the seasonal uptrend to resume in coming weeks.

Loins:

​Bome-in loin prices are steady; boneless loin prices are stuck at 26-year lows.

Poultry | Chicken

The Government shutdown has stopped reports on poultry production but we had been trending close to unchanged in recent weeks. While whole bird demand is OK discounts are still required to move larger sizes.

Breast and Tenders:

Both jumbo and medium breast meat is well cleared; chicken breast prices are now above all-time lows for the first time in months. Strong demand for tenders by boneless wing processors have kept prices in an uptrend.

Wings:

Wing prices may be close to peaking as we approach Super Bowl.

Dark Meat:

Strong export demand has yet to lift leg quarter prices back to where they were last year -- probably the result of Mexico's tariffs. Leg meat and thigh meat prices are firm.

Poultry | Turkey

Hens and smaller sized toms are in great shape; larger toms are still a little pushy. Bone-in breast prices are steady.

Seafood | Finfish

Cod, Alaskan 1x:

Supply remains tight and costs are firm as we head into the first  of the year.  The Alaskan cod quota has been reduced by 18,000 tons and with reductions in quota on other white fish species as well. Poor environmental conditions, lack of incoming recruitment are just two of the reasons for the lowered quota.  The end result will be increased costs on cod overall.

 

Cod, Atlantic 1x:

The 1x frozen Atl. cod loins are firm on cost  and could increase further.  Recent adverse weather and reduced quota have resulted in  limited catches for the fishermen at this time.   The smaller 4 oz size has been the most effected as the current harvest has yielded larger fish and therefore larger loins.   We hope to minimize any out of stocks on this item but it could be hit or miss.   Expect this trend to continue at least  through Lent and possibly through June.  

Cod, Atlantic 2x:

2019 Total Allowable Catch is announced at 6.5% lower than 2018.  Prices will remain firm. 

Cod, Pacific 2x:

Due to lower catch announced from Atlantic cod. Pacific cod raw material price remains high.

Pollock, Atlantic 1x:

The overall Pollock quota has remained fairly stable.  Reduction in quota out of the Gulf of Alaska has been offset  by increases out of the Eastern Bering Sea for the most part.  However it has also been noted that there are limited holdover inventories for the start of 2019 that could  push up costs pre-lent.

Pollock, Pacific 2x:

Firming of pricing as expectation of drop in pollock biomass. Starting to see substitution demand from cod and haddock users.

Haddock:

15% decrease of Total Allowable Catch announced for haddock.  Price is still cheaper than cod.  Expectation of cod substitution to continue. 

Domestic Lake Fish:

Supply of Yellow Lake Perch, Walleye, Whitefish and Smelt has been plentiful on all sizes and is expected to remain so through Lent.  Costs have stabilized as of late.  Canadian bluegill continues to be a problem as the resource has experienced limited catches and is awaiting the start of the new season after the first of the year.   The sub for this item is the Chinese offering of bluegill.   This is the same species as the Canadian just grown out in Asia and is a great option to the former.  

 

 

Euro Lake Fish & Zander:

Supply is good and costs have softened some but are expected to remain stable for Lent   This is a more cost effective substitute for the higher priced domestic lake fish items where applicable.  Currently there is stock on all sizes of pike perch and European perch for Lent.  

Mahi Mahi:

Mahi Mahi costs have continued to soften as the season has resumed out of Peru and Ecuador down to 2013 and 2014 levels.   Reports indicate there is left over product from the 2018 season both domestically and over seas,  leaving the market in flux.   Current harvests now have yielded larger fish in the 6 and 8 oz portion levels where there has been limited production of the 4 oz size at this time.  Expect the market to be unstable at least through the spring where we can gauge if the excess inventories have been flushed out of the market. 

  

Frozen Tuna, Swordfish :

At the end of the calendar year there is minimal harvest of tuna out of most regions.  As we move into the new year Thailand production increases with Viet Nam close behind it .  For now costs are stable and supply is adequate for a relatively active demand.  Costs have firmed on Swordfish from Indonesia, with high demand from the European market and stricter regulations overseas. Demand remains strong from both retail and food service customers  

 

Swai:

Reports of more consistent swai supply from producing countries.

Tilapia:

The tariff war has increased costs of product by 10% .  The potential for  another 15% increase has now been delayed until the beginning of March by the Trump administration.   

Seafood | Shrimp

Imported Black Tiger:

Black Tiger shrimp prices are stable and supply is good on small and middle sizes. There are shortages of large sizes due to limited production (2-4 through 13-15) and heavy demand.

Imported White:

White shrimp supply is somewhat sporadic with shipments being late due to heavy demand overseas. Market values are good and offer great opportunities to menu shrimp this summer. Expect supply to be better as we roll into the late summer months as production catches up.

Latin White:

Latin White shrimp are firm with replacement prices firming. Supply is good for the time being.

Domestic White & Brown:

Domestic Brown shrimp are steady in price as we roll into the new season for Texas. Larger sizes of white and brown headless shrimp should begin to land over the next few months.

Domestic PUD:

Domestic PUD production has slowed on smaller shrimp. While boats begin to target larger whites and browns where available, we should see better production in larger and middle size peeled shrimp.

Domestic Rock & Pink:

Rock & Pink shrimp are both in good supply.

Seafood | Lobster

North Atlantic:

Lobster tail costs have firmed as the landings from Maine were not stellar this summer and the late fall Nova Scotia season has been down between 20-50% .  The majority of the larger sizes tails are harvested during this season and to date it has been considered a bust.  Weather delays and colder than normal temperatures have impacted this resource.  Currently there are limited supplies of the larger 6/7 and 8/10 oz tails and this is expected to be a challenge into the summer season.    Meat has been softening over time and has started to level off, supply is good.     

Warm Water:

Supply has been short on warm water tails  after a late start to the season this summer.  Poor catches, increased demand out of Asia  and retailers taking a stronger position on the market have resulted in a firm undertone.     This trend continued through the holidays and is expected to remain firm until new season supplies start to arrive in July.     The WW tails in the 6 and 8 oz sizes might be a viable option to the lack of larger N Atl tails but  costs are a trade off as both species report a firm market and overall lack of supply.  

Seafood | Crab

Snow Crab:

The global shortage of snow crab has continued through the fall. Alaska did announce their recent findings on their biomass survey of the Bering sea and the results are favorable for more quota for this region come this winter.   The survey showed a 60 percent boost in market sized males and nearly the same for females.  However ..many are predicting  a large reduction in the snow crab quota out of Newfoundland come spring.  This will out weigh any increase out of Alaska and in the end, snow crab is still expected to be short.  To date  prices have leveled off on Canadian crab on the larger 8 and 10 up products with limited offerings.  However the 5/8 size has softened some as processors and brokers look at moving off the balance of their inventory prior to new season.  .   

 

Red Swimming Crab:

A new 10% tariff on all seafood items should go into effect in August.  The market is still uncertain however, between high market prices, and limited supply, cost might go up.  This coupled with the void in the market on red swimming crab only strengthens this possibility.  We are still expected to start receiving shipments on red crab in October.  The main crab harvest is October – December. 

Blue Swimming Crab:

Prices are still high with great inventory.  There has been a slight decrease in pricing from Indonesia while Philippines and India move up to be more in line with Indo.  For the next 60-90 days prices will stay level to a possible dip however, Q4 is expected to pick back up.  With the red swimming still high with limited supply, this too drives the price up.  Overall prices will come down a bit.

Seafood | Scallops

The scallop market as of late has taken some significant increases on the larger U-10, U-12 and 10-20 ct sizes.  Strong demand has impacted cost and these are expected to remain elevated at least until after Feb as many start to to move off any 2018 inventory in preparation for the start of the 2019 spring season.   For now expect firming prices and adequate supply.   

Chinese Flounder and Ocean Perch:

10% tariff duty has been applied.  The possible  added 15% has now been pushed back to the beginning of March when the Trump administration will decide on a final ruling.    

Seafood | Finfish

Cod, Alaskan 1x:

Supply remains tight and costs are firm as we head into the first  of the year.  The Alaskan cod quota has been reduced by 18,000 tons and with reductions in quota on other white fish species as well. Poor environmental conditions, lack of incoming recruitment are just two of the reasons for the lowered quota.  The end result will be increased costs on cod overall.

 

Cod, Atlantic 1x:

The 1x frozen Atl. cod loins are firm on cost  and could increase further.  Recent adverse weather and reduced quota have resulted in  limited catches for the fishermen at this time.   The smaller 4 oz size has been the most effected as the current harvest has yielded larger fish and therefore larger loins.   We hope to minimize any out of stocks on this item but it could be hit or miss.   Expect this trend to continue at least  through Lent and possibly through June.  

Cod, Atlantic 2x:

2019 Total Allowable Catch is announced at 6.5% lower than 2018.  Prices will remain firm. 

Cod, Pacific 2x:

Due to lower catch announced from Atlantic cod. Pacific cod raw material price remains high.

Pollock, Atlantic 1x:

The overall Pollock quota has remained fairly stable.  Reduction in quota out of the Gulf of Alaska has been offset  by increases out of the Eastern Bering Sea for the most part.  However it has also been noted that there are limited holdover inventories for the start of 2019 that could  push up costs pre-lent.

Pollock, Pacific 2x:

Firming of pricing as expectation of drop in pollock biomass. Starting to see substitution demand from cod and haddock users.

Haddock:

15% decrease of Total Allowable Catch announced for haddock.  Price is still cheaper than cod.  Expectation of cod substitution to continue. 

Domestic Lake Fish:

Supply of Yellow Lake Perch, Walleye, Whitefish and Smelt has been plentiful on all sizes and is expected to remain so through Lent.  Costs have stabilized as of late.  Canadian bluegill continues to be a problem as the resource has experienced limited catches and is awaiting the start of the new season after the first of the year.   The sub for this item is the Chinese offering of bluegill.   This is the same species as the Canadian just grown out in Asia and is a great option to the former.  

 

 

Euro Lake Fish & Zander:

Supply is good and costs have softened some but are expected to remain stable for Lent   This is a more cost effective substitute for the higher priced domestic lake fish items where applicable.  Currently there is stock on all sizes of pike perch and European perch for Lent.  

Mahi Mahi:

Mahi Mahi costs have continued to soften as the season has resumed out of Peru and Ecuador down to 2013 and 2014 levels.   Reports indicate there is left over product from the 2018 season both domestically and over seas,  leaving the market in flux.   Current harvests now have yielded larger fish in the 6 and 8 oz portion levels where there has been limited production of the 4 oz size at this time.  Expect the market to be unstable at least through the spring where we can gauge if the excess inventories have been flushed out of the market. 

  

Frozen Tuna, Swordfish :

At the end of the calendar year there is minimal harvest of tuna out of most regions.  As we move into the new year Thailand production increases with Viet Nam close behind it .  For now costs are stable and supply is adequate for a relatively active demand.  Costs have firmed on Swordfish from Indonesia, with high demand from the European market and stricter regulations overseas. Demand remains strong from both retail and food service customers  

 

Swai:

Reports of more consistent swai supply from producing countries.

Tilapia:

The tariff war has increased costs of product by 10% .  The potential for  another 15% increase has now been delayed until the beginning of March by the Trump administration.   

Seafood | Shrimp

Imported Black Tiger:

Black Tiger shrimp prices are stable and supply is good on small and middle sizes. There are shortages of large sizes due to limited production (2-4 through 13-15) and heavy demand.

Imported White:

White shrimp supply is somewhat sporadic with shipments being late due to heavy demand overseas. Market values are good and offer great opportunities to menu shrimp this summer. Expect supply to be better as we roll into the late summer months as production catches up.

Latin White:

Latin White shrimp are firm with replacement prices firming. Supply is good for the time being.

Domestic White & Brown:

Domestic Brown shrimp are steady in price as we roll into the new season for Texas. Larger sizes of white and brown headless shrimp should begin to land over the next few months.

Domestic PUD:

Domestic PUD production has slowed on smaller shrimp. While boats begin to target larger whites and browns where available, we should see better production in larger and middle size peeled shrimp.

Domestic Rock & Pink:

Rock & Pink shrimp are both in good supply.

Seafood | Lobster

North Atlantic:

Lobster tail costs have firmed as the landings from Maine were not stellar this summer and the late fall Nova Scotia season has been down between 20-50% .  The majority of the larger sizes tails are harvested during this season and to date it has been considered a bust.  Weather delays and colder than normal temperatures have impacted this resource.  Currently there are limited supplies of the larger 6/7 and 8/10 oz tails and this is expected to be a challenge into the summer season.    Meat has been softening over time and has started to level off, supply is good.     

Warm Water:

Supply has been short on warm water tails  after a late start to the season this summer.  Poor catches, increased demand out of Asia  and retailers taking a stronger position on the market have resulted in a firm undertone.     This trend continued through the holidays and is expected to remain firm until new season supplies start to arrive in July.     The WW tails in the 6 and 8 oz sizes might be a viable option to the lack of larger N Atl tails but  costs are a trade off as both species report a firm market and overall lack of supply.  

Seafood | Crab

Snow Crab:

The global shortage of snow crab has continued through the fall. Alaska did announce their recent findings on their biomass survey of the Bering sea and the results are favorable for more quota for this region come this winter.   The survey showed a 60 percent boost in market sized males and nearly the same for females.  However ..many are predicting  a large reduction in the snow crab quota out of Newfoundland come spring.  This will out weigh any increase out of Alaska and in the end, snow crab is still expected to be short.  To date  prices have leveled off on Canadian crab on the larger 8 and 10 up products with limited offerings.  However the 5/8 size has softened some as processors and brokers look at moving off the balance of their inventory prior to new season.  .   

 

Red Swimming Crab:

A new 10% tariff on all seafood items should go into effect in August.  The market is still uncertain however, between high market prices, and limited supply, cost might go up.  This coupled with the void in the market on red swimming crab only strengthens this possibility.  We are still expected to start receiving shipments on red crab in October.  The main crab harvest is October – December. 

Blue Swimming Crab:

Prices are still high with great inventory.  There has been a slight decrease in pricing from Indonesia while Philippines and India move up to be more in line with Indo.  For the next 60-90 days prices will stay level to a possible dip however, Q4 is expected to pick back up.  With the red swimming still high with limited supply, this too drives the price up.  Overall prices will come down a bit.

Seafood | Scallops

The scallop market as of late has taken some significant increases on the larger U-10, U-12 and 10-20 ct sizes.  Strong demand has impacted cost and these are expected to remain elevated at least until after Feb as many start to to move off any 2018 inventory in preparation for the start of the 2019 spring season.   For now expect firming prices and adequate supply.   

Chinese Flounder and Ocean Perch:

10% tariff duty has been applied.  The possible  added 15% has now been pushed back to the beginning of March when the Trump administration will decide on a final ruling.