Market Updates for February 1, 2019

Section Type

Dairy | Cheese

The CME Block and Barrel Market has been retracting from lows not seen in quite some time.  Speculators feel the market has moved back towards a more stable range.  Supply is still above demand, but with the colder weather in the Midwest there should be a mild dip in the milk production for January.

Last week:

Block - Down

Barrel - Down

This Week:

Block - Up

Barrel - Up

Dairy | Eggs

Retail demand fair to fairly good.  Supplies adequate.  Market steady

Last week:

Large - Up

Medium - Up

Small - Up

This Week:

Large - Up

Medium - Up

Small - No Change

Dairy | Butter

Butter production remains active across the country as cream supplies become more readily available, building for the coming pull leading in to Easter;  cold weather throughout the Midwest is driving spot pricing up for fear of shortages in the coming weeks and months.

Last week:

Butter - Down

This Week:

Butter - Up

Grocery & Bakery | Wheat

Despite some weekly wiggles, hi-gluten flour and semolina flour prices have not done much since last fall. Prices are sitting around 10% below last January.

Grocery & Bakery | Soybean Oil

Soybean oil prices have moved to the upper end of the USDA's $0.28-$0.32/lb range. Recent reports suggesting that hot dry weather is shrinking the South American soybean crop triggered price increases.

Grocery & Bakery | Sugar

Beet sugar.prices are full steady as spot supplies tighten.

Meat | Beef

Extreme cold weather is affecting the beef market from bottom to top. Cattle in feedlots are stressed, processing plant schedules have been abbreviated, beef shipments delayed and restaurants closed. So far cattle prices are unchanged as market participants try to sort out the net impact of all this disruption.

Ground Beef:

Closures and reduced QSR traffic backed ground beef up early this week, but after some discounting prices are recovering.

Ribs:

Rib prices are higher led by choice heavy ribeyes. Lower cattle weights and more heifers in the slaughter mix have resulted in discounts for light ribs.

Briskets:

Prices often drift lower in January but this year they have been trading sideways.

Rounds:

Round prices have firmed as consumers cook roasts at home during the Polar Vortex event.

Strips:

Prices have been trading sideways but forward sales are 5-6% higher as packers anticipate a spring rally.

Tenders:

Tender prices are trading 10% higher than last January -- much like ribeyes. Looks like demand for premium beef items is being helped by the strong economy.

Thin Meats:

Seasonally-declining beef production is usually price supportive for thin meats in January.

Meat | Pork

Hog and pork prices often strengthen in January as production shrinks seasonally. This year, however, production has only inched lower, leaving markets oversupplied and prices on the defensive. Weather interruptions could provide some temporary support, but plenty of hogs are still out there.

Butts:

Butt prices are 20% lower than last year which offsets Mexico's retaliatory tariff. Export interest should begin to provide support.

Hams:

Ham prices are flat as export interest is offset by large production.

Bacon/Bellies:

Belly prices are retreating as QSR features end. The last look we had before the Government shutdown showed healthy freezer inventories. Prices may need to work lower to attract interest for freezer programs.

Ribs:

Rib prices have started to firm up, but big production is muting the uptrend.

Loins:

​Bome-in and boneless loin  prices are moving higher as retail features lift demand. The latest weather episode should help by driving at-home consumption..

Poultry | Chicken

Demand for whole chickens is a little better, but prices are still on the defensive.

Breast and Tenders:

Jumbo breast meat is well cleared; medium breast and tenders are becoming hard to find. Prices for both tenders and medium breast are in a strong uptrend, jumbo breast is inching higher.

Wings:

Wing prices appear to be topping out at about the same levels as the last few Januarys. Super Bowl will mark the end of the peak demand period.

Dark Meat:

Strong export demand has started to lift leg quarter prices.Leg meat is available while 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 at least 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 Lent .  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.  For now costs are stable.  

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 softened some as of late on the larger walleye sizes and perch, just in time for Lent.  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 current.  

 

 

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.   This could flip as they move closer to the closure of the fishery and in more southern fishing areas specifically out of Peru.  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 :

VIETNAM– Is going into the Chinese New Year. So, for the month of January production will be cut in half, with it totally closing down for 2 weeks. Because of the production slow down, raw material prices will be high. In March they will resume to full production and prices will be reviewed at that time for late spring arrivals.  .  INDONESIA – There are only a few regions in Indonesia landing raw material and those are minimal. With the lack of raw material, prices are firm and high from this region. Their season will start in late March/early April. Prices may find relief at that time, depending on the strength of those landings. Thailand – Landings are very minimal.  .  For Swordfisn, in Ecuador – all the boats have been fishing for Mahi, so there has been virtually no production. They will retool for Sword in March/April. Pricing will be reviewed at that time.  In Asia (Vietnam & Indonesia) – European demand continues to be much higher than usual, putting pressure on supply and pricing. Landings are tied directly to Tuna, so the notes above also apply to Sword.Thailand – Only processing frozen on-board product at this time. As a general rule, all of it is untreated. Landings are low. Prices are high and creeping up. Overall Limson has supply on all sizes with stable costs at this time and for Lent

 

 

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:

Landings were initially reported to be down 30-40% in early December.  It is assumed a 2 million lb + shortfall of meat, as well as 4 million lb + shortfall of tails is expected.  Most sizes from the processors are on allocations with limited to no inventory on sizes larger than 5-6oz.   Some indications that landings have improved, but the damage had been done when the shore price reached extreme highs before the holidays and many processors closed for the winter.  Spring season starts in early May, but initially  a lot of this goes to live or whole lobster production in order to avoid a bottle neck from tail and meat production. Realistically look at improved availability in early June.  For now prices are high with limited supply on 6/7 oz tails.  Meat has bottomed out and is expected to firm on cost soon.   

 

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 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 in zone 3L.  This will out weigh any increase out of Alaska and in the end, snow crab is still expected to be short and at it's lowest level since 2011.  As of late the 8-10 and 10 ups have bounced back up in cost due to limited supply.  5/8 have remained stable as the best cost option on snow crab at the moment.  Many predict another  high priced market for 2019 but movement will depend on what the market wil bear and if buyers move to other more cost efficient species. 

 

 

 

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 is expected to start to soften as we enter into the spring season in time for harvest .  Strong demand has impacted cost on some of the larger sizes currently but that will change over time as well.  Supply is good on all sizes.   

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.