As an added value of our partnership, Consolidated Concepts has created a report, Freshly Picked, which includes details on market conditions and trends. We continuously monitor these markets and will update you weekly so that you make the best decisions for your business.
If you have any questions, please reach out to anyone at Consolidated Concepts. We are here to assist you!
Chief Operating Officer
What is Trending?
- Are you ready for a power outage? Bad weather in many areas of the country has left restaurants without power for a stretch, but a power outage can happen anywhere, for any number of reasons.
- Sysco, US Foods extend merger deal Sysco Corp. has extended its merger agreement with US Foods by 60 days, to May 7, two days after hearings on the merger are scheduled to begin.
- Restaurants find ways to mitigate beef costs Restaurants and purchasing cooperatives are using an array of strategies to mitigate costs and get the most out of their beef.
- Analysts: Antibiotic bans will make chicken pricier McDonald’s move to phase out chicken raised with antibiotics meant for humans could add as much as 3% to the cost of production, much of which will likely fall on the producers.
Everything is still fairly quiet regarding most veggies coming out of Yuma/Salinas. The handful of exceptions are broccoli, broccolini, and cauliflower: for each of these items, the transition has commenced, so supplies are volatile while demand has remained consistent. Fresh Concepts has commodity contracts on each of these items, so for now open market prices should not affect our clients, and supplies will be protected. We have contracts on most commodities, so the inevitable volatility accompanied with this transition period will not have drastic effects on our clients. The tomato market remains in escalation. Currently, supplies are light out of Florida and Mexico, as the product is undergoing its own seasonal transitions and setbacks. Cold weather in Florida has adversely affected both its current supply and spring supply. The tomatoes market is expected to be higher through the end of March until spring crops start to ramp-up in volume.
Looking Forward: While veggies finish out the remaining weeks in Yuma, the recent rain followed by warm, sunny weather makes for ideal mildew conditions. Growers are applying fungicide with frequency, and will continue this through the rest of the Yuma season. This will mainly impact iceberg, romaine, spring mix, and spinach.
Beef production, last week, rose 2.8% and was .7% larger than the same week a year ago. Limited cattle supplies are expected to cause beef output to remain historically small during the next several months. However, beef trade should temper the impact of the lighter beef production.
U.S. beef imports, during January, were 64% larger than last year and the biggest for any month since the spring of 2006. U.S. beef exports, during the month, were down 21% from 2014 and the smallest for any month in nearly five years. This trend may persist due to the elevated U.S. dollar which could temper any pending seasonal price increases in lean beef trim.
Pork output, last week, declined 1.6% but was 7.7% greater than the same week a year ago. Hog supplies remain relatively ample but poor margins for pork packers are forcing them to limit production. This could bring some modest support to the pork markets in the near term. However, any seasonal pork price increases this spring are expected to be mitigated by solid year-over-year expansion in pork production and lackluster exports. U.S. pork exports, during January, were the smallest for the month in five years.
Chicken output for the week ending February 28 declined .4% from the prior week and was 2.3% less than the same week one year ago. However, chick placement data suggests that strong year-over-year gains in chicken production should resume. The six-week moving average for chick placements is tracking 3.4% above 2014. The chicken wing markets are declining with the ARA Chicken Wing Index near a two-month low. Further chicken wing market declines are likely.
The H2N2 strain of avian flu has been discovered in commercial turkey flocks in Minnesota and Missouri this month. Additional cases are expected to occur in the coming weeks.
The CME cheese markets have firmed during the last week due, in part, to improving demand. Cheese exports, during January, were down 26% from 2014 and the smallest for any month in nearly two years. However, international cheese is now trading at a higher premium to U.S. product, which is starting to encourage exports. Still, seasonal gains in milk and cheese production this spring may weigh on the cheese markets. The butter market has weakened in the face of a reduction in supply that can be traded on the CME exchange. Additional butter price declines are likely.
The USDA is projecting the available 2014-15 corn and soybean supply to be the largest in seven years. This could keep a lid on the feed markets this spring, assuming the weather cooperates for the 2015-16 crop planting.
- Soybeans are higher in a rebound from Tuesday’s one-percent fall and on uncertainty about the prospects for more Brazilian truckers’ strikes. Rains slowing the Brazilian soy harvest add support, as well as Argentine farmers suspending grain sales.
- Corn is higher after the USDA, on Tuesday, lowered its forecasts of U.S. and world corn, ending stocks below trade expectations. Additional support from worries about a reduction in U.S. corn plantings for 2015, and rains stalling early planting in the Delta region.
- Wheat is heading higher for a fourth straight session on technical buying, including short covering, after last week’s five-month lows and as the U.S. winter wheat crop begins to emerge from dormancy amid dry conditions in parts of the Plains. Extreme basis premium costs for high protein spring wheat could continue at least through mid-summer, a high protein crop is crucial in 2015. Many think we will see more U.S. wheat again this year than we did last. This should ultimately keep wheat futures low. With the growing season having begun in Texas and expected to expand into Oklahoma and northward shortly, we will see more of this type of volatility in the futures market.
- Coffee markets, this month, have fallen to their lowest levels in a year despite the relatively limited world coffee supplies. A Brazilian real near 12-year lows continues to weigh on the coffee futures markets. The coffee markets could be erratic in the coming months.
A strong U.S. dollar valuation continues to encourage solid U.S. shrimp imports. During January, the U.S. brought in 8.7% more international shrimp than a year ago, marking a new record for the month. This is despite imports from the largest shrimp producing country, Thailand, remaining small. Shrimp prices may remain below 2014 levels.
- U.S. dollar is trading near multi-year highs against several commodity-sensitive currencies. This could weigh heavy on commodity prices this spring.
- What we pay for in a gallon of Gas & Diesel
- Crude oil prices didn’t move much this week, despite a significant move higher in the U.S. dollar. Crude oil prices remain near the $50 mark, despite the position of the U.S. dollar. After setting back from recent highs made in mid-January, the U.S. dollar index rose sharply this week, ending the week above 97.