Egg Industry News


COMMODITY REPORT

06/24/2022

WEEKLY COMMODITY REPORT: June 23rd 2022.

Over the past five trading days prices for corn and soybeans again fluctuated with a consistent downward trend for soybeans and corn. A higher intensity compared to the previous week was evident with an inter-day range of three percent in value for corn and soybeans between Wednesday and Thursday. The market is still dominated by the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine and reinforced by the effects of drought in Brazil and neighboring producer nations. Prices were also influenced by fluctuations in the Dollar index and by orders placed by China coupled with increasing domestic U.S. demand for biofuels.

 

Factors influencing commodity prices in either direction included:-

  • Geopolitical tensions threatening wheat, corn, oilseeds and oil exports from Ukraine following the invasion together with evident restriction on Black Sea shipping. Russia has allegedly stolen in excess of 400,000 metric tons of grain from the Eastern occupied regions and is destroying agricultural infrastructure including elevators and crushing plants and placing landmines in fields. (upward pressure on corn and wheat and an indirect effect on soybeans)
  • A minimal effect from the June WASDE #625 that retained planting area and yields from the previous month but revised ending stocks for corn up by 2.9 percent and soybeans down by 9.7 percent. (slight upward pressure on soybeans)
  • Drought affecting Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil especially in that nation’s Southern states due to a prolonged La Nina The USDA-FAS projects that collectively the three Southern hemisphere nations will be short 8.7 million metric tons of soybeans in 2022. (upward pressure of intermediate intensity).
  • Decreased orders from China for soybeans although consistent with projections of reduced domestic demand due to COVID restrictions and economic slowdown. (transitory upward pressure on soybeans)
  • Demand for soy oil to be diverted to biodiesel, exacerbated by concerns over shortages of sunflower oil from Ukraine but some easing with lifting of restrictions on export of palm oil by Indonesia (variable upward pressure on soybeans and meal)
  • Release of a higher RFS for 2022 and higher weekly ethanol demand coupled with successive weekly increases in production. Year-round E-15 has been authorized but with minimal incremental uptake. (upward pressure on corn)
  • Planting although initially slower than in 2021, has attained 4-year average values. Delay was due to inclement weather and non-availability of fertilizer in some regions. (diminishing effect on corn but neutral on soybeans).
  • Volatility of the Dollar Index (DXY) that declined from 105 on May 12th to 101 on June 2nd but back to 104 on June 23rd influencing timing and volume of export orders (fluctuation in corn and soybean prices)
  • Purchases of commodities by hedge funds is declining amid fluctuating equity, concerns over a recession and a rise in the 10-year Treasury bond rate (downward pressure)

 

Based on CME quotations on June 23rd U.S. farmers are now receiving and conversely livestock producers and ethanol refiners in the Midwest will pay above $7.40 per bushel for corn delivered in July, down 5.6 percent from the June 16th quotation for July delivery. Crushers will pay $15.90 per bushel for soybeans plus transport and basis for July delivery, down 7.0 percent from the June 16th quotation for July delivery. Soybean meal was down 0.9 percent percent or $4 per ton, for July delivery, continuing the trend of the previous week but lagging soybean price and responding to both domestic and export demand for soy oil.

 

The FAS Export Report released on June 24th for the week ending June 16th reflecting market year 2021-2022, confirmed that outstanding export orders for corn for the new market year amounted to 10.12 million metric tons (398.8 million bushels) with 50.2 million metric tons (1,977 million bushels) actually shipped. During the past week orders for the 2021-2022 market year amounted to 0.67 million metric tons (26.4 million bushels) with 1.15 million metric tons (45.1 million bushels) shipped. For the current market year shipments of corn to date are 10.7 percent lower than at the corresponding week a year ago. For market year 2022-2023 outstanding sales this week amounted to 6.3 million metric tons (242.7 million bushels), with 0.36 million metric tons (14.4 million bushels) ordered for the following market year.

 (Conversion 39.36 bushels per metric ton)

 

The FAS Export Report released on June 24th 2022 for the week ending June 16th reflecting market year 2021-2022, recorded outstanding export orders for soybeans amounting to 9.03 million metric tons (331.7million bushels) with 51.2 million metric tons (1,881 million bushels) actually shipped. Weekly soybean orders attained 0.29 million metric tons (10.7 million bushels) with 0.49 million metric tons (18.0 million bushels) shipped. For the current market year to date shipments of soybeans are 11.0 percent lower than for the corresponding week a year ago. For market year 2022-2023 outstanding sales amounted to 13.4 million metric tons (491.2 million bushels), with 0.27 million metric tons (9.7 million bushels) ordered this past week.

(Conversion 36.74 bushels per metric ton)

 

For the week ending June 16th 2022 net orders amounted to cancellation of 8,200 metric tons of soybean meal and cake for the market year 2021-2022, compared to 286,300 tons from the previous week. During the past week 214,000 metric tons of meal and cake combined was shipped, down 4.7 percent from the previous week and representing 2.5 percent of the total 8,676,300 metric tons shipped during the current marketing year to date. This quantity is 2.5 percent lower than the previous market year.

 

Projected harvests and ending stocks were documented in the June 10thWASDE #625,retrievable under the Statistics TAB. The anticipated WASDE #626 will be reviewed in ta mid-July edition of EGG-NEWS with projections on quantities harvested and the effect of trade and domestic consumption on ending stocks of corn updated from the June report. Data should take into account the late planting of corn in the U.S. that may affect yield and the predicted consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. These events will affect world trade and the negative effect on spring planting in the Ukraine currently in progress.

 

The following quotations for the months of delivery as indicated were posted by the CME at close of trading on June 23rd 2022, compared with values posted at close of trading on June 16th 2022 (in parentheses):-

 

COMMODITY

Corn (cents per bushel)

July 744 (788).

Sept. 666 (742)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

July 1,592 (1,711).

Sept. 1,506 (1,565)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

July 425 (429). 

Sept. 4095 (404)

 

Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal over five trading days this past week were:-

Corn: July quotation down 44 cents per bushel (-5.6 percent)

Soybeans: July quotation down 119 cents per bushel (-7.0 percent)

Soybean Meal: July quotation down $4 per ton (-0.9 percent)

 

The NASDQ spot prices for feedstuffs per short ton for June 22nd 2022 with prices for the previous week were:-

  • Corn (ZC): $274 was $261. 52-week range $177 to $292
  • Soybean Meal (ZM): $402 was $412. 52-week range $311 to $488

 

Values for other common ingredients per short ton:-

  • Meat and Bone Meal (ruminant, Central U.S.): $500 to $550 (wide range for this ingredient according to source and location)
  • DDGS, (MO.): $280 to $300 (was $285) Price varies according to plant and location
  • Wheat Middlings (MO): $260 to $280 (was $235 in early June, reflecting surge in wheat price due to invasion of Ukraine and U.S. drought)
  • Bakery Meal (MO): $225 ($180)
  • For each $1 per ton (2.8 cents/bushel) change in corn the cost of egg production would change by 0.11 cent per dozen
  • For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal the cost of egg production would change by 0.35 cent per dozen

 

The respective changes in the prices of corn and soybean meal for June 22nd spot prices compared with June 16th would lower nest-run production cost for eggs by 1.8 cents per dozen.

*(rounded to 0.1cent)

 

According to the June 11th WASDE #625, corn harvested in calendar 2022 will attain 14,460 million bushels with ending stocks projected at 1,400 million bushels down 2.9 percent from the May 2022 WASDE Report. Total corn stocks on December 1st 2021 amounted to 11.6 billion bushels up 3 percent from December 1st 2020.

 

The social restrictions imposed in the U.S. as a result of COVID-19, that are now being eased, were projected to reduce ethanol demand by 1.5 billion gallons or 10 percent of projected 2020-2022 requirement, accepting a nominal ten percent addition (E-10) to gasoline. This past week 93.2* percent of the U.S. ethanol fermentation volume was operational, based on the September 2021 U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA) capacity data. The outlook for increased production will depend on higher domestic demand in addition to increasing the proportion of production that is exported.

 

According to the U.S. EIA, for the week ending June 10th 2022* the industry produced on average 1,060,000 barrels of ethanol per day. This was up 2.0 percent from the week ending June 3rd 2022, rising above the one-million gallon per day benchmark for the fourth consecutive week. On June 10th ethanol stock was down 1.7 percent from the previous week to 23.2 million barrels, representing an approximately 20-day reserve and confirming increased demand given a decrease in stock relative to increased production. The White House has allowed all-year round 15 percent addition to gasoline. Given that many light vehicles cannot use more than E-10 and drivers are curtailing mileage due to high fuel cost and with restraints imposed on fuel station storage and dispensing, the short-term prospects for increased domestic consumption are unfavorable. 

*Updated figures delayed due to Federal holiday.

 

Ethanol quoted on the CBOT (EH) at close of trading on June 23rd was priced at $2.14 per gallon down 2 cents from the previous week and compared to a 52-week range of $2.13 to $2.48 per gallon. Concurrently RBOB gasoline traded on NASDQ (RB) at $3.73 per gallon on June 23rd down 18 cents per gallon from the previous week. The 52-week range for RBOB gasoline is $1.90 to $4.04. The CME WTI crude price of $104 per barrel at close of trading on June 23rd was 12.6 percent lower than the previous week easing inflation. Gasoline is now $1.59 per gallon more expensive than ethanol but with a 63 percent higher BTU rating.

 

With most plants among the 197 that were operational on January 1st 2021 now functioning, DDGS is freely available but commands a price consistent with corn. A Missouri plant priced a branded DDGS at $280 per ton on June 16th down $5 per ton from the previous week. Wide price variation exists depending on supplier and location. A plant in central Ohio offered DDGS at $250 per ton this past week. It is axiomatic that the cost of DDGS will reflect changes in the price of corn. Generally DDGS is currently incorporated at low inclusion levels in egg-production formulas based on price relative to the nutrient contribution of corn and other ingredients. This may change as corn and hence DDGS fluctuates in price

 

 Soybeans continue to be the beneficiary of export demand by China although lower than the previous market year. Exports are maintained by supplying other nations in addition to domestic livestock production and demand for soy oil. The USDA projected a harvest of 4,640 million bushels in the June WASDE #625. Ending stocks were decreased 9.6 percent from 310 to 280 million bushels. Total soybean stock on December 1st 2021 amounted to 3.15 billion bushels down 14 percent from December 1st 2020 indicating the extent of exports during the 2020-2021 market year.

 

The CME soybean price for July delivery at close of trading on June 23rd was lower by 119 cents per bushel to 1,592 cents compared to 1,711 cents per bushel for July delivery quoted last week. The decrease in the price of soybeans denotes a decreasing trend from the previous week and is attributed to reduced export demand despite the invasion of Ukraine with disruption of the winter harvest and spring planting in that Nation. Predictions of lower yields in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil vary but a conservative USDA estimate of a reduction of 0.66 billion bushels (24 million metric tons) was provided. Prices are obviously influenced by projections of yield in the three major producing nations in South America.

 

According to a release on June 15th by the National Oilseed Processors Association 171.1 million bushels of soybeans were crushed in May 2022. This crush value was up 0.7 percent from April 2022 at 169.8 million bushels.

 

 Soybean oil fell 12.5 percent to 63.7 cents per lb. on June 23rd from 72.8 cents per lb. last week. This follows the decision by Indonesia to lift a disruptive short-term moratorium on the export of some palm oil products. Lower prices this past week are despite the realization that world oilseed supply will be limited by a sharply diminished crop and availability of sunflower from Ukraine, the world’s largest exporter with barriers to exports imposed by Russia. During calendar 2022, it is anticipated that 43 percent of U.S. soy oil will be diverted from fuel to biodiesel.

 

On June 22nd 2022 soybean meal was quoted on NASDAQ at $402 per ton, $13 per ton lower than the spot price last week and compared to a 52-week range of $312 to $500 per ton.

 

On June 22nd 2022 Ruminant Meat and Bone meal was priced over a range of $500 to $550 per ton quoted from Central U.S. plants but with a wide range of prices based on composition, source and location. Price fluctuation reflects changes in soybean meal and other oilseed meals.

 

On June 22nd the conversion of the CNY to the BRL was 0.78 BRL, down CNY 0.03 from the previous week. The conversion of the US$ to the CNY was CNY 6.70, unchanged from the previous week.

 

For consecutive calendar years 2017 through 2019 the U.S. supplied 34.4 percent of soybean requirements for China amounting to 95.5 million metric tons. This was followed by a decline to 16.9 percent of 88.5 million metric tons in 2018 and 16.6 percent of 88.0 million metric tons in 2019. The USDA anticipated that soybean imports by China would attain 95.0 million metric tons during the 2020-2021 market year but in reality only 60.3 million tons was shipped through August 2021.

 

For the 2019/2020 market year China imported 2.1 million metric tons of corn from the U.S., 4.8 percent of total exports of 43.3 million tons, but 12 percent less than in the 2018/2019 market year. The USDA-FAS documented sales of U.S. corn to China through late August 2021 comprising the 2020/2021market year amounting to 73 million metric tons (2,876 million bushels) with 93 percent shipped.

 

For 2021 the U.S. exported corn to the value of $17,473 million, 112 percent more than in 2020 and comprising 10 percent of the value of all U.S. agricultural exports.

 

For 2021 the U.S. exported soybeans to the value of $26,476 million 48 percent more than in 2020 and 15 percent of the value all U.S. agricultural exports.

 

COMMENT

Subscribers are referred to the June 10th 2021 WASDE # 625 and the USDA quarterly Grain Stocks Report available under the STATISTICS tab. To be revised when Grain Stocks are updated at the end of June and WASDE # 626 for July are released.


 

Euthanasia Statistics Dispute PETA Claims

06/23/2022

PETA, an animal rights advocacy organization constantly criticizes the animal livestock sector of agriculture over housing, treatment and processing of cattle, hogs and poultry. In an article by John M. Simpson of the law firm Duane Morris LLP, data was presented to show that the Norfolk, VA. shelter operated by PETA has an inordinately high euthanasia rate compared to other shelters in the state of Virginia. Ingrid Newkirk founder of PETA, contends that criticism of the organization over euthanasia is unwarranted based on the fact that the Norfolk shelter takes in all animals irrespective of condition. 

 

Data derived from public records of the Commonwealth of Virginia as presented by Attorney Simpson shows that the proportion of animals reclaimed by owners attained 0.5 percent from the PETA shelter in 2021. The adoption rate of un-reclaimed animals ranged from 53 percent for Chesapeake Animal Services to 89 percent for the Norfolk SPCA.  The proportion of euthanized un-reclaimed animals for the PETA Norfolk shelter attained 64 percent.  In contrast the Norfolk SPCA euthanized 4.0 percent of animals, Virginia Beach Animal Control 6.8 percent and the Virginia Beach SPCA 4.9 percent.  The Chesapeake Animal Services shelter did however euthanize 27.9 percent of animals received but still less than half of the PETA total. 

 

The justification advanced by Ms. Newkirk that PETA receives “animals that are on their last legs” is questionable given the number of animals entering the various shelters in Virginia.  Net receipts for the PETA Norfolk shelter amounted to 827 animals compared to 797 for the Norfolk SPCA and over 1,100 for each of the Virginia Beach Animal Control and Virginia Beach SPCA shelters.  There is some credence to the assertion that PETA is a “dumping ground” for animals since only four of 831 that were received were reclaimed.  The Norfolk SPCA presumably drawing from the same geographic area also recorded only two animals reclaimed out of 799 received.  Chesapeake Animal Services managed to restore 41 percent of animals to their owners and Virginia Beach Animal Control service attained a reclaim rate of 52 percent.

 

The statistics clearly show that PETA is running a euthanasia mill at their Norfolk shelter based on the difference in their adoption and euthanasia rates directly compared to the Norfolk SPCA.

 

Given that PETA apparently received $60.6 million in revenue during fiscal 2020 suggest that this organization as with many other allegedly welfare-oriented charities are less concern over animal wellbeing that raising funds for the benefits of directors and staff and pursuing policies demonizing livestock production in order to promote a vegan agenda.


 

Retail Egg Prices in Berlin Supermarket

06/23/2022

Most consumers in cities in Germany buy their food requirements daily, patronizing specialty dairy, bakery or produce stores and from 3,000 to 5,000 square foot local mini-supermarkets. Eggs displayed in an Edeka store in Central Berlin are provided for comparison with the U.S.  Eggs are imprinted with a code at the farm of production or at a packing plant. Eggs are packed unwashed. Shell-eggs are predominantly brown although white eggs are available. Yolk color is more intense and orange- tinted from inclusion of synthetic carotenoids in diets. Fiber packs that are biodegradable or can be recycled are the standard based on strong environmental consciousness among consumers. In conformity with legislation in Germany pullet chicks are derived from hatches where male embryos were removed early in incubation obviating euthanasia of cockerel chicks. Nutritionally enriched eggs are uncommon.

 

 

Prices of eggs in U.S. currency per dozen in the Edeka store were:-

Organic free-range $7.60
Organic barn $4.15
Conventional barn $3.77
Conventional free-range $4.02

10-pack of organic (‘Bio’) eggs. All packaging is biodegradable or recyclable

Detail of pack showing “Ohne Kukentoten” logo denoting that producing flock was
derived from a pullet chick hatch applying embryo selection

 

Kroger Installs DSD Software

06/23/2022

The Kroger Company is collaborating with Itasca Consulting Group of Minneapolis, a software developer to develop and install systems in almost all Kroger stores including twenty banners in 35 states.  The system will facilitate and monitor direct-store delivery by vendors, specifically for dairy, bread and beverages.

 

Chris Harris Director of Asset Protection and Safety for Kroger stated, “Itasca software will be essential to provide improved function and simplify processes.”  As quoted in Supermarket News Jeff Kennedy president of Itasca Retail stated, “Our system creates a closed-loop process from order creation through receiving allowing retailers to measure vendor service levels.”

 

Itasca has gained considerable support from the retail segment including SpartanNash, Sobeys, Weis Markets, IGA and HAC Inc. the operator of Piggly Wiggly, Food World and other banners.


 

Survey Confirms Increased Supermarket Sales and Eat-at-Home Trends

06/23/2022

The Supermarket News 2022 Survey conducted from mid-March through mid-April confirmed a trend towards increased sales of fresh foods. Among the respondents, 70 percent noted increased sales in the perimeter categories during the twelve months preceding the survey with only four percent recording decreased sales.  The magnitude of sales growth was also striking ranging from one percent to 15 percent. More than a quarter of responding stores experiencing a 4 percent to 6 percent increase in same-store sales among fresh categories with an emphasis on meat, dairy and produce. Retailers expect perimeter sales to continue increasing with growth rates ranging from one to nine percent.

 

Conventional supermarkets consider large stores including Walmart as their major competitors with 38 percent of respondents citing the “big-box” category.  Approximately one-quarter of the retailers recognize online sales as competition with an equal weighting of 6 percent assigned to club stores, convenience stores, farmers, markets and natural and organic retailers.

 

Margins were generally higher according to half of the respondents with dairy including eggs eliciting a positive response from 44 percent of those providing data. Only a quarter of the respondents experienced a decline in either bakery or dairy categories.

 

Availability of trained personnel in deli, meat and dairy sections was regarded as the most important challenge for retailers.  This factor was followed by supply-chain disruption with concerns over the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation with resulting effects on trade and shipping and the consequential contribution to inflation.

 

Retailers are aware of both the overhang from COVID and current high inflation as drivers of continued perimeter sales.  Despite sensitivity to price, consumers are still seeking quality, freshness but not necessarily variety.  Shifts in purchases of dairy, bakery and meat were ascribed to a preference for home cooking although fast casual restaurants and QSRs are regarded as the major competitors with respect to perimeter sales. 

 

Respondents indicated that future strategies to increase sales and to become more competitive included introduction of grab-and-go items, store promotions, increasing space for prepared foods and providing products with fewer additives.  It was interesting that promoting plant-based  alternatives to meat was noted by only 17 percent of respondents as a competitive strategy in response to competition. Alternatives to meat ranked behind COVID safety measures and slightly ahead of internationally inspired recipes.


 

USPOULTRY Hatchery-Breeder Clinic

06/23/2022

The 2022 USPOULTRY hatchery-breeder clinic will take place July 20th to 21st at the DoubleTree Hilton in downtown Nashville, TN.

 

Agenda items include bird handling during vaccination and movement, welfare during rearing, controlling coccidiosis, chick transport, data collection and disinfection.

 

For information on registration access <www.uspoultry.org>


 

Egg Week

06/22/2022

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, June 22nd 2022.

Market Overview

  • Average wholesale unit revenue for Midwest Extra-large and Large sizes was higher by 8.5 percent from the past week reversing a slow four-week downward trend. Mediums were up by 4.8 percent. This follows depletion of more than 31.4 million hens including 13 large complexes in nine states from the last week in February through the first week in June. The increase in price for all sizes and for breaking stock this past week occurred concurrently with a 3.4 percent decrease in industry shell-egg inventory following a 2.2 percent decrease last week. This suggests larger orders by chains to replenish the retail pipeline in the face of sustained demand as consumers seek value. Retail sales are projected to be stable or slightly higher over the short term. In the unlikely event of additional cases of HPAI, availability will be more severely impacted especially in the breaking sector. Industry inventory decreased overall this past week to 1.71 million cases following the 3.4 percent decrease in shell eggs concurrently with a 2.4 percent decrease in breaking stock. Retailers are expected to maximize shelf prices in relation to demand. Wholesale unit prices during the first quarter of 2022 and the subsequent two months contrasted favorably with the corresponding periods in both 2020 and 2021 that were characterized by low ex-plant unit revenue. Wholesale Midwest prices are still yielding unusually high positive margins, despite the higher combined costs of nest-run, (feed, chicks, labor and fuel), grading, packaging and delivery amounting to approximately 50 cents per dozen according to the EIC.

 

  • Total shell inventory was 3.4 percent lower after a 2.2 percent decrease during the previous week. It is now apparent that the inventory held by chains and other significant distributors may be more important in establishing wholesale price than the USDA regional inventory figures published weekly, especially over the short term. The seasonal strategy of retailers is to adjust purchases only in response to retail demand and to hold down inventories in their DCs and stores while marking up shelf margins and pressuring suppliers for rapid replenishment of stocks to DCs and through DSD. Market data suggests that chains have priced generic white eggs in response to prevailing demand and are infrequently featuring generic Large or Extra large.

 

  • Due to the depletion of more than 31.4 million hens through June 6th due to HPAI, unseasonal unit revenue will now be a reality through June and into summer, even without the extension of HPAI to additional complexes.

 

  • The current relationship between producers and chain buyers based on a single price discovery system constitutes an impediment to a free market. The benchmark price amplifies both downward and upward swings as at present and functions to the detriment of the industry over the long term. A CME quotation based on Midwest Large, responding to demand relative to supply would be more equitable.

 

  • According to the USDA the U.S. flock in production was re-estimated to 290.3 million hens during the week ending June 22nd. This figure presumably reflects the loss of 31.4 million hens to date depleted as a result of confirmed HPAI in thirteen large egg-production complexes and additional losses on eight smaller farms. The producing flock includes about 2.0 million molted hens that resumed production during the past week. Wholesale margins declined over the past three weeks despite attaining the highest levels for the corresponding weeks in May and June since the 2015 epornitic. The current price for all sizes and categories is a response to flock depletion coupled with sustained demand. The USDA reports include recent diagnoses in Pennsylvania, Utah and Colorado flocks through early June.

 

  • There is some prospect of a return in the food service sector and with frozen and dried egg prices moderately higher over the past two weeks. The ex-farm price for breaking stock on average was up 13.1 percent this past week at 181.5 cents per dozen. Checks delivered to Midwest plants were up 14.2 percent to 168.0 cents per dozen. Prices for breaking stock will remain high in relation to season for the duration of the recovery period from the epornitic as replacement flocks are reared, reminiscent of 2015-2016. The U.S. economy is clearly reopening.

 

Week in Review

 

Prices

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports released on June 20th, the Midwest wholesale price for Extra-large was up 8.4 percent to 204.5 cents per dozen; Large size was up 8.5 percent to 202.5 cents per dozen; Mediums were up 4.8 percent to 172.5 cents per dozen as delivered to DCs. Prices should be compared to the USDA benchmark average 6-Region blended nest-run cost (excluding provisions for packing, packaging materials and transport) of 83.3 cents per dozen during May 2022. The progression of prices during 2022 to date is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

 

The June 20th 2022 edition of the USDA Egg Market News Report documented a USDA Combined Region value rounded to the nearest cent, of $1.98 per dozen delivered to warehouses for the week ending June 16th 2022. This average price lags current Midwest weekly values by one week. The USDA Combined range for Large in the Midwest was $1.87 per dozen. At the high end of the range, price in the South Central Region attained $2.05 per dozen. The USDA Combined Price last week was approximately $1.22 above the 3-year average. This past week Midwest Large was approximately $1.15 above the corresponding week in 2021. Prices rose this week due to increased demand and the realization by chain buyers of the effect on supply following the depletion of 31.4 million hens due to HPAI. Future cases of avian influenza in egg-production complexes are unlikely but diagnoses in backyard flocks denote continued shedding by migratory waterfowl in segments of the Central and Pacific Flyways and sectors of the Mississippi Flyway. Spillover to commercial egg, turkey and broiler flocks may continue as isolated sporadic infections that hopefully will be contained. Prices appear to be following the trend of the 2015 epornitic although for a relatively longer period and at a higher level.

 

Flock Size 

The USDA has adjusted the estimate of flock size this week to reflect the reality of depletion of more than 31.4 million hens through June 6th due to HPAI. According to the USDA the number of producing hens reflecting June 22nd (rounded to 0.1 million) was 289.9 million as adjusted by USDA. The total U.S. flock includes molted hens due to come back into production with approximately 4.0 million new pullets reaching maturity during the week, offset by routine flock depletion in addition to losses over the past three months due to HPAI. Based on inventory level the hen population producing eggs should now be slightly lower than late-Spring consumer demand. Industrial and food service off-take although increasing, has not reverted to pre-COVID levels. Imbalance between supply and demand has driven prices upwards to 2015 epornitic levels as recorded during April and May. During June prices will continue to fluctuate from week to week but will enter a shallow decline into the third quarter. Prices of shell eggs and products will however depend on the incidence rate of HPAI and level of inventory although the prospect of incident cases in large complexes is less likely moving into July.

 

According to the USDA the total U.S. egg-flock on June 22nd was adjusted to 292.5 million hens including second-cycle birds and those in molt. The nominal difference of 2.6 million between hens in production and total hens is an approximate figure but denotes fewer molted hens due to resume production. At present there are at least 31.4 million fewer hens in both the total and producing flocks with the difference equivalent to 10.7 percent of the pre-HPAI national flock.


 


Egg Exports

06/22/2022

Export of Shell Eggs and Products, January-April 2022.

 

USDA-FAS data collated by USAPEEC, reflecting export volume and values for shell eggs and egg products are shown in the table below comparing the first four months of 2021 with 2022:-

 

PRODUCT

Jan.-April 2021

Jan.-April 2022

Difference

Shell Eggs

Volume (m. dozen)

61.9

32.0

-29.9 (-48.3%)

Value ($ million)

62.6

49.2

-13.4 (-21.4%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)

1.01

1.54

+0.53 (+52.5%)

Egg Products

Volume (metric tons)

12,389

10,097

-2,292 (-18.5%)

Value ($ million)

35.4

43.8

+8.4 (+23.7%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)

2,857

4,338

+1,481 (+51.8%)

 

U.S. EXPORTS OF SHELL EGG AND EGG PRODUCTS DURING

JANUARY-APRIL 2022 COMPARED WITH 2021

 

SHELL EGGS

Shell egg exports from the U.S. during the first four months of 2022 decreased by 48.3 percent in volume and 21.4 percent in total value compared to 2021. Unit value was 53.0 cents higher to $1.54 per dozen in 2022 compared to January-April 2021. The top two importers, Hong Kong and Canada combined, represented 67.8 percent of volume and 50.7 percent of total value.

 

Canada was the leading importer of U.S. shell eggs during the first four months of 2022. The 11.5 million dozen shipped represented 35.9 percent of volume and 20.3 percent of value with a unit price of $1.87 per dozen. During April 2022 imports of shell eggs were up 125 percent in volume with Canada ranked first in volume and value for the month.

 

Hong Kong was the second-ranked importer of shell eggs in January-April 2022, with 10.2 million dozen representing 31.9 percent of volume and 23.6 percent of the $49.2 million total value of U.S. shipments of shell eggs. Average unit value was $1.13 per dozen, below the average prevailing nest-run USDA benchmark price of $1.59 during the first four months of 2022*. In 2021 Hong Kong imported 53.8 million dozen valued at $48.2 million. During April, Hong Kong imported 1.2 million dozen shell eggs valued at $1.5 million down 70.7 percent in volume from April 2021 at a unit price of $0.93 per dozen.

 

* USDA Benchmark unit prices per dozen: January, $1.05 per dozen; February, $1.35, March $1.58 and April $2.36.

 

Mexico was the third-ranked importer of shell eggs during January-April 2022 with 3.2 million dozen representing 10.0 percent of volume and 6.7 percent of total value corresponding to a unit value of $1.13 per dozen 40.7 percent below the U.S. benchmark average of $1.59 per dozen for the four months. During April 2022 imports of shell eggs by Mexico decreased by 83.7 percent in volume and 79.2 percent in value compared to April 2021. During 2021 Mexico was second-ranked in shell egg exports receiving 52.2 million dozen valued at $41.9 million.

 

For January-April 2022 the remaining nations of importance were the E.U., the Caribbean and the Middle East that collectively received million dozen valued at $ million with a unit price of $1.67 cents per dozen. During April 2022 the Caribbean, the E.U. and the Middle East collectively received 0.9 million dozen valued at $1.5 million with a unit price of $1.67 cents per dozen.

 

EGG PRODUCTS

The total volume of exported egg products during January-April 2022 decreased by 18.5 percent to 10,097 metric tons compared to the corresponding months in 2021. Total value of $43.8 million was higher by 23.7 percent compared to the first four months of 2021. Unit value increased by 51.8 percent to $4,338 per ton, up from the $2,857 received during January-April 2021.

 

In April 2022 the U.S. exported 2,040 metric tons, down 34.3 percent in volume but up 21.1 percent in value compared to April 2021. The difference in unit price reflects composition of exports and the relationship between World supply and demand with Ukraine now restrained in production and India as a significant exporter during the month. Through 2021 the U.S. exported 35,068 metric tons of egg products valued at $109.1 million with a unit price of $3,108 per metric ton.

 

 Japan was the leading importer for January-April 2022 based on a value of $13.8 million and a volume of 2,976 metric tons that represented 25.2 percent of the total U.S. exports of egg products, a decrease of 29.5 percent compared with January-April 2021. The high unit value of $4,469 per metric ton compares with the average value for all U.S. exports of egg products with a unit value of $4,339 or $4,283 excluding Japan. The discrepancy in unit price reflects the product mix. With conclusion of a bilateral trade agreement the U.S. is no longer at a competitive disadvantage with respect to the E.U. In 2021 Japan imported 11,796 metric tons of egg products from the U.S., 31.6 percent more than in 2020.

 

Canada was the first in rank by volume among importers, purchasing 3,009 metric tons in January-April 2022 comprising 29.8 percent of volume and 20.3 percent of value with a unit price of $2,958 per metric ton. During April 2022 Canada was the leading importer by volume receiving 746 metric tons representing 36.6 percent of volume and 24.3 percent of value. Volume and value were respectively 27.9 percent and value was 108 percent higher than in April 2021. This reflected restoration of the institutional and food service sectors in our northern neighbor coupled with underproduction.

 

Mexico was 3rd ranked as an importer of egg products over the first four months of 2022 receiving 996 tons from the U.S. representing 9.9 percent of volume and 8.7 percent of value with a unit price of $3,815 per metric ton. Volume and value for the first quarter of 2022 were down respectively 63.2 percent and 32.1 percent. During April 2022 imported a negligible quantity of egg products.

 

For the first four months of 2022 South Korea ranked 4th among importers with 1,463 metric tons of egg products down 14.1 percent from January-April 2021 due to domestic supply increasing from replacement flocks after HPAI depletion. During April, South Korea imported 84 metric tons representing 4.1 percent of total volume and 2.9 percent of value, respectively 57.8 percent lower in volume and 83.3 percent lower in value than in April 2021. In 2021 South Korea imported 5,140 metric tons valued at $513.3 million up 133.3 percent from 2020.

 

COMMENTS

Exports of shell eggs and egg products to our USMCA neighbors were valued at $80.8 million in 2019 and $76.9 million in 2020. During 2021 the value of shell eggs and egg products attained $101.8 million or 32.7 percent of combined export value. January-April 2022 exports attained $37.5 million in value.

 

In addition to landed cost, logistics and availability, prospects for long-term exports of shell eggs will be limited by disease considerations. Exports will be dependent on the willingness of importers to accept the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) principle of regionalization in the event of outbreaks of exotic Newcastle disease or isolation of either H5 or H7 avian influenza (AI), irrespective of pathogenicity from commercial flocks. Most importing nations are now applying regionalization and permitting imports on a zonal, county or state-exclusion basis following H5 or H7 AI infection. Canada and the U.S. operate according to a 2018 bilateral agreement to maintain trade in the event of outbreaks of catastrophic exotic diseases including HPAI and END.

 

With the ongoing and intensifying conflict in Ukraine, egg liquid exports from that Nation will decline sharply in the intermediate term and subsequent availability will constrain exports.

 

Generally pasteurized egg products should not be subject to any embargo imposed following reports of AI or Newcastle disease in a region.


 

Congress Finalizes Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022

06/21/2022

With wide bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 by a 369-42 margin.  The bill was widely supported by agricultural associations, port authorities, the National Retail Federation, and the American Trucking Association, among others.  The Act will widen the powers of the Federal Maritime Commission, specifically with respect to enforcing equitable rates that have soared to the detriment of both the agricultural sector and consumers.

 

The Bill is intended to:-

  • Make ocean carriers responsible for justifying demurrage charges
  • Prevent unreasonable rejection of U.S. export cargoes
  • Enable the Federal Maritime Commission to register overseas shipping exchanges
  • Provide the Federal Maritime Commission with a higher level of funding to carry out their additional responsibilities
  • Ensure best practices with regard to the supply and location of chassis to move containers

 

Predictably, the World Shipping Council and organizations representing ocean carriers, objected to comments from the President regarding lack of competition among resulting in inflation, high costs and disruption in supply chains.  The World Shipping Council is aggrieved at the apparent mischaracterization of their industry and maintains that high rates resulted from an imbalance between available vessels, increased demand for goods all exacerbated by West Coast port congestion.


 

2022 Renewable Fuels Standard

06/21/2022

According to a release from the Environmental Protection Agency on June 3rd, the following volume requirements were determined for 2022: -

 

  • Cellulosic biofuel: 0.69 billion gallons
  • Biomass-based diesel: 2.76 million gallons
  • Advanced biofuel: 5.63 billion gallons
  • Total renewable fuel:  20.63 billion gallons

 

Stated values represent ethanol-equivalents on an energy basis with the exception of biomass-based diesel which represents a biodiesel-equivalent. The conventional ethanol component will be 15.0 billion gallons as previously suggested.

 

Michael Regan, EPA Administrator, stated “Today’s actions will help to reduce our reliance on oil and put the RFS program back on track after years of challenges and mismanagement.”

 

Previously in December 2021, EPA denied 69 pending Small Refinery Exemptions petitions, but allowed three small refineries to meet blending obligations under RFS of previous years.

 


 

La Nina Weather Pattern to Persist

06/21/2022

According to the National Weather Service, mean surface temperature in the littoral Pacific Ocean along the coasts of Chile and Equador suggest a third year of La Nina.  The current cycle of two years has produced hot summer temperatures in the U.S. corn-producing states.  Only two instances of a three-year La Nina have been recorded since 1950.

 

A description of the El Nino/La Nina oscillation can be retrieved from the SEARCH block by entering ‘El Nino’.

 


 

East Coast Ports Handle Increased Volume

06/21/2022

The Georgia Ports Authority reported handling a record volume of 519,390 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers in May.  This was an 8.5 percent increase over the corresponding month in 2021.  The Port of Virginia processed more than 314,000 TEUs in May also a record.  The Port of Charleston, S.C. handled 255,104 TEUs an 11.0 percent increase over May 2021.

 

Increased traffic was due to diversion of vessels from the West Coast that are encountering problems of congestion and delays in moving containers away from port facilities. During the past year, most East Coast ports have improved efficiency by creating off-site staging areas for containers. A recent report by an international agency confirmed that major East Coast ports were ranked highly in efficiency compared to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in California.


 

The University of Maine Develops Recyclable Nanocellulose Food Containers

06/20/2022

According to the Bangor Daily News, a research team led by Dr. Mehdi Tajvidi has developed a substitute for single-use plastic containers for food.  The product is based on pulp derived from recycled wood composites with a coating composed of cellulose nanofibrils derived from lignin, a component of trees.

 

Dr. Tajvidi stated, “Research in my lab has focused on two main topics, using cellulose nano- materials as binders in composites for building and automotive applications and producing renewable packaging materials with barrier properties against oxygen, water, oil and grease.  The containers fabricated using this technology are fully recyclable maintaining their grease-resistant properties.”

 

It is estimated that 80 percent of marine waste comprises plastic materials and that a high proportion is represented by single-use plastic items, including fruit containers, disposable tableware and bottles.


 

Ferrero Plant Resumes Production After Decontamination

06/20/2022

The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain in Belgium has authorized the Arlon plant owned by Ferrero in Belgium to resume production.  The plant was closed after traceback confirmed that the production facility was responsible for an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium accounting for 450 confirmed cases among children in the E.U. in addition to four in Canada and one in the U.S.  Between December 2021 and January 2022, 10 out of 81 samples from the plant that produced the Kinder™ brand of chocolates yielded the pathogen.

 

Permission to resume production is provisional and will be subject to intensive surveillance of product and the environment of the plant. This case illustrates the capacity of public health authorities in the E.U and the U.S to recognize outbreaks due to a common pathogen and identify the vehicle of infection and source. This is attributed to databases including FoodNet in the U.S. and the extensive application of whole genome sequencing of isolates from patients, implicated foods and plant environments.


 

Ethan Giroux Named NSAC Fellow

06/20/2022

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has awarded a Jeannette K. Watson Summer Fellowship to Ethan Giroux. He is a member of the Giroux family of Chazy, NY. and is enrolled in a BA program with business and social entrepreneurship as majors.

 

In recognition of his strong agricultural connection, he anticipates a career in food production with an emphasis on environmental enhancement.


 

Blue Bell CEO Trial Scheduled For August 1st

06/19/2022

Egg-NewsThe long-delayed trial of Paul Kruse, CEO of Blue Bell Creamery, will take place in Austin in the Western District Court of Texas, presided over by Federal Judge Robert Pitman.  Pretrial motions have been heard including a Daubert hearing relating to expert testimony, the defense list of witnesses submitted by the defense in the Department of Justice and evidence the DOJ intends to present.  Pretrial motions can be submitted through June 22nd. Contentious submissions by the defence include a request to exclude specific data regarding the sanitary status of plants and the level of coliform organisms isolated.

 

The case arises from contamination of Blue Bell ice cream products with Listeria emanating from a number of plants operated by the company in 2015.  Egg-NewsTraceback from ten patients implicated Blue Bell products that were recalled, and all plants were shut down to allow for decontamination.  The financial impact on the company resulted in the family shareholding being passed to an investment group with replacement of management.

 

Paul Kruse faces multiple charges relating to failure to comply with FDA regulations, having allegedly allowed product to be distributed that knowingly were potentially contaminated with Listeria for which an FDA zero tolerance is applied. 


 

Egg Projection June 2022

06/18/2022

Updated June USDA Projection for 2022 U.S. Egg Production.

 

The USDA Economic Research Service issued an updated forecast of egg production for 2022 on June 16th 2022, unchanged from the previous May 18th 2022 report that took into account the impact of the HPAI epornitic. The latest revision of production for 2022 was unaltered at 7,688 million dozen, 3.6 percent lower than in 2021. The per capita consumption of shell eggs and liquids combined for 2022 will be 274.8, down 4.5 eggs (2.0 percent) from 2021. The average 2022 benchmark New York bulk unit price was held at 194 cents per dozen. This was 63.1 percent higher than in 2021 attributed to unseasonal high prices during the first quarter and again reflecting losses of 31.5 million hens from the end of February through the first week in June.

 

Subsequent USDA projections will provide greater clarity on the effect of HPAI together with the recovery of the post-COVID economy that is impacted by an 8.6 percent rate of inflation. Egg-liquid consumption will be influenced by reduced availability and higher cost that will once more drive demand for alternatives to ‘real eggs’ as in 2015. Flock size may be limited by the availability of pullet chicks for replacement, rate of conversion to alternative housing systems and the cost of ingredients that will influence margins. Unknown factors such as the eventual extent of the avian influenza epornitic that appears to be ending, the supply and cost of ingredients as influenced by events in Ukraine, export volume of eggs and persistence in demand will all influence production and marketing of shell eggs and products.

 

USDA projected egg production in 2023 will attain 8,170 million dozen with a per capita consumption of 289 eggs.

June 2022 data is shown in the table below:-

 

Parameter

2018

(actual)

2019

(actual)

2020

(actual)

2021

(forecast)

2022

(projection)

% Difference

2021-2022

Production (m. dozen)

8,042

8,265

8,066

7,971

7,688

-3.6

Consumption (eggs per capita)

287.8

293.6

285.5

280.5

274.8

-2.0

New York price (c/doz.)

138

 94

112

119

194

+63.1

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook released June 16th 2022

 

Subscribers to EGG-NEWS are referred to the postings depicting weekly prices, volumes and trends and the monthly review of prices, exports and related industry statistics.


 

SCOTUS Review of Glyphosate Appeal in Question

06/17/2022

There is uncertainty whether SCOTUS will hear the appeal by Bayer AG holding company of Monsanto to set aside lower court decisions on glyphosate claims. Plaintiffs were awarded damages in jury trials alleging a cause-and- effect relationship between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and contact with glyphosate-based herbicides marketed under the RoundUp™ brand. Bayer faces extensive payouts following the three adverse verdicts in three cases with the assumption of responsibility and damages upheld by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

The basis of the Bayer appeal is that the Monsanto-Bayer product was not responsible for non-Hodgkin lymphoma based on the fact that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had approved the product and would not allow a California label warning concerning the potential for cancer, which has yet to be scientifically established.

 

Two Plaintiffs alleged that they acquired cancer from exposure to glyphosate as applied in their gardens and the third was a groundsman in a sports complex. It is a matter of record that the EPA was unable to establish any association between the compound and lymphoma among agricultural workers in California following a retrospective study.

 


 

Dereliction Of Responsibility By FDA Over Inspection of Baby Formula Plants

06/17/2022

It was recently disclosed that during 2020, U.S. FDA inspectors failed to visit any of the major manufacturers of baby formula.  Their justification was based on restrictions associated with COVID.

 

The Abbott Nutrition  plant in Sturgis, MI was not reviewed for over two years.  When inspected, a number of deficiencies were observed in both structure and operations.  Notwithstanding this situation, the plant was not reinspected until after outbreaks of Cronobacter sakazaki infection were diagnosed and attributed to contaminated formula produced by the facility.  The FDA was tardy in responding to a detailed whistleblower complaint regarding deficiencies in the Sturgis plant and the activities of management to obstruct FDA inspectors.  Following a detailed evaluation of the plant, a recall was issued in February 2022 and the plant was closed for decontamination and retraining of personnel.  This action resulted in a widespread shortage of formula, given that the plant was responsible for a significant proportion of baby formula manufactured in the U.S.

 

Following Congressional involvement, the Food and Drug Administration is now obliged to inspect all plants manufacturing infant formula at six-month intervals.

 

Deficiencies in both the organization and activities of the FDA as disclosed in hearings should result in radical changes.  Establishing a separate food safety agency would be justified given the appalling record of insensitivity and non-awareness of problems leading to this and previous foodborne infections.  The fact that food safety is fragmented among various federal departments, including the USDA for red meat and poultry and the FDA for virtually all other foods including imported products, is an obvious organizational defect and should be rectified.


 

Backyard Chickens Continuing Source Of Salmonellosis

06/17/2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported an on-going multistate investigation of salmonellosis among families in contact with backyard chickens. The survey documented 219 cases with 27 hospitalizations and one fatality in 38 states. Of those infected, 26 percent were children under five years of age and the median age of the cohort was 29 years. Serotypes isolated included Salmonella Enteritidis, Hadar, Infantis and Typhimurium.

 

It is recognized that the actual number of infections may be as much as ten-fold higher than the diagnosed cases.  Among 87 patients interviewed, 70 percent reported contact with backyard poultry before onset of illness.  Approximately 30 percent of those who provided information reported eating eggs from backyard chickens.

 

PulseNet identifies individual cases over a multistate region.  In addition to surveillance, the CDC conducts antibiotic resistance surveys on available samples.  Of 219 isolates evaluated, one third were resistant to one or more of human-use antibiotics, including streptomycin (31 percent), tetracycline (32 percent) with lesser percentages for ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.

 

Recommendations to prevent salmonellosis as provided by the CDC, include washing hands after contact with backyard poultry, avoiding close contact with live birds and their environment and supervision of children in the vicinity of flocks. While theoretically reducing the risk of infection these precautions are generally ineffective as demonstrated by the incident rate.


 

COMMODITY REPORT

06/16/2022

Egg-NewsOver the past five trading days prices for corn and soybeans again fluctuated with a consistent downward trend for soybeans but up for corn. A similar intensity compared to the previous week was evident with an inter-day range of two percent in value for corn and soybeans. The market is still dominated by the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine and reinforced by the effects of drought in Brazil and neighboring producer nations. Prices were also influenced by fluctuations in the Dollar index and by orders placed by China coupled with increasing domestic U.S. demand for biofuels.

 

Factors influencing commodity prices in either direction included:-

  • Geopolitical tensions threatening wheat, corn, oilseeds and oil exports from Ukraine following the invasion together with evident restriction on Black Sea shipping. Russia has allegedly stolen in excess of 400,000 metric tons of grain from the Eastern occupied regions and is destroying agricultural infrastructure including elevators and crushing plants and placing landmines in fields. (upward pressure on corn and wheat and an indirect effect on soybeans)
  • A minimal effect from the June WASDE #625 that maintained planting area and yields but revised ending stocks for corn up by 2.9 percent and soybeans down by 9.7 percent. (slight upward pressure on soybeans)
  • Drought affecting Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil especially in that nation’s Southern states due to a prolonged La Nina The USDA-FAS projects that collectively the three Southern hemisphere nations will be short 8.7 million metric tons of soybeans in 2022. (upward pressure of intermediate intensity).
  • Increased orders from China for soybeans although consistent with projections of reduced domestic demand due to COVID restrictions and economic slowdown. (transitory upward pressure on soybeans)
  • Demand for soy oil to be diverted to biodiesel, exacerbated by concerns over shortages of sunflower oil from Ukraine but some easing with lifting of restrictions on export of palm oil by Indonesia (variable upward pressure on soybeans and meal)
  • Release of a higher RFS for 2022 and higher weekly ethanol demand coupled with successive weekly increases in production. Year-round E-15 has been authorized but with minimal uptake. (upward pressure on corn)
  • Planting although initially slower than in 2021, has attained 4-year average values. Delay was due to inclement weather and non-availability of fertilizer in some regions. (diminishing effect on corn but neutral on soybeans).
  • Volatility of the Dollar Index (DXY) that declined from 105 on May 12th to 101 on June 2nd but back to 105 on June 16th influencing placement of export orders (fluctuation in corn and soybean prices)
  • Purchase of commodities by hedge funds is declining amid fluctuating equity and a rise in the 10-year Treasury bond rate(upward pressure)

 

Based on CME quotations U.S. farmers are now receiving and conversely livestock producers and ethanol refiners in the Midwest will pay above $7.90 per bushel for corn delivered in July, up 6.8 percent from the June 9th quotation for July delivery. Crushers will pay $17.10 per bushel for soybeans plus transport and basis for July delivery, down 0.2 percent from the June 9th quotation for July delivery. Soybean meal was down 0.5 percent percent or $2 per ton, for July delivery, reversing the trend of the previous week and reflecting soybean price and current crush volume, responding to both domestic and export demand for soy oil.


 


HSUS Settles HPAI Lawsuit

06/13/2022

The Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary and Mercy for Animals have jointly settled a lawsuit against the USDA over control of HPAI.

Never reticent to waste an opportunity to intrude where their presence is not needed, the welfare advocacy organization brought suit against the USDA over flock depletion.

 

The risks of exposure of large complexes to avian influenza are no different to small farms or backyard flocks. The probabilities of infection are in fact lower with large complexes given the high standards of biosecurity as evidenced by the 2022 epornitic.


 

EPA Establishes Biodiesel RFS

06/13/2022

Egg-NewsThe Environmental Protection Agency has set the renewable fuel biodiesel standard (RFS) for 2022 of 5.63 billion gallons, a 22 percent increase over 2020.  The National Retail Federation criticized the extent of the increase, stating that the mandate would be inflationary, given diversion of soybean oil to fuel.

 

Egg-NewsDavid French, Senior Vice-President for Government Relations with the National Retail Federation stated, “For more than a year we’ve alerted the EPA and the Administration about the shortage of food oils which is causing significant disruption through the supply chain and raising food costs for customers.”

 

The EPA action is at an inopportune time, given the projected shortage of sunflower oil from Ukraine following the invasion of that nation by the Russian Federation.  The situation is further complicated by some states requiring higher levels of inclusion of biofuel in diesel exceeding federal mandates, depriving the restaurant industry and food manufacturers of available vegetable oil.


 

Revelations Over Infant Formula Confirm Inaction By FDA

06/13/2022

Egg-NewsAccording to Food Safety News, the FDA has acknowledged that between December 1st, 2021 and March 3rd, 2022 the Agency received a 128 consumer complaints, including nine fatalities among babies consuming various brands of formula manufactured by Abbott Nutrition manufactured in the Sturgis, MI plant.

 

Delays in reporting the extent of cases has angered Congress and specifically, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, (D-CT).  She commented on the delay from initial reports in September 2021 through to withdrawal of formula in February 2022. She commented adversely including inaction following receipt of a comprehensive whistleblower report in September 2021.

 

Egg-NewsPathogens identified among the infants included Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella spp. in addition to some infants who yielded Shigella and Clostridioides difficile that were not directly related to the Sturgis plant.

 

This incident and the subsequent revelations regarding inactivity confirm the impression that FDA is a “broken agency” and that consumers of the U.S. would be better served by a dedicated food safety agency paralleling similar agencies in the E.U. and the U.K. staffed with competent and dedicated personnel as advocated by EGG-NEWS.


 

Doug McKalip Nominated As Chief Agricultural Trade Negotiator

06/13/2022

Egg-NewsIn an announcement on June 9th, Doug McKalip was nominated as U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Trade Negotiator.

 

He has extensive experience in the USDA and has served as an advisor to Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, on trade issues since the inception of the current Administration.  His nomination was supported by U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai.

 

Egg-NewsThe position requires the incumbent to negotiate with trade partners and to devise and implement strategies that increase U.S. farm exports. The appointment to the position, which has been inadvisably delayed, is critical, given disputes with both Canada over dairy imports and ongoing issues with China.


 

FDA to Extend Program of Sterilization Using Radiation

06/13/2022

Egg-NewsIn view of restraints within supply chains for medical devices and consumables, FDA is extending approval for gamma irradiation and other forms of sterilization. It is enigmatic that consumers are more than willing to accept that syringes used to inject their daily insulin are irradiated but at the same time are opposed to electron beam pasteurization of food products.

 

Egg-News

In the face of petitions to ban up to thirty-one Salmonella serotypes and intentions of intruding backwards through the production cycle onto farms.  FDA and USA should accept that irradiation is a physical process akin to heating to destroy non-spore-forming bacterial pathogens responsible for infection.  Instead of making futile and expensive efforts to suppress but not eliminate Salmonella and E. coli at the farm production end of the cycle, electron beam pasteurization could eliminate the risk of infection at minimal cost and high efficiency.


 

ASPCA Offers Grants on Welfare

06/12/2022

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is offering up to $100,000 in funding to organizations and institutions through the ASPCA Fund to End Factory Farming.  Grants ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 will support projects "bringing attention to the need to shift toward more humane healthy and sustainable on-farm practices".  A secondary objective is to reduce consumption of animal protein. 

 

In announcing the grants, Daisy Freund, Vice President of Farm Animal Welfare at the ASPCA stated, "the lack of transparency around industrial animal agriculture's harms has allowed this cruel form of animal production to dominate our food system".  She added, "the ASPCA Fund to End Factory Farming will support the broad community of researchers, advocates and businesses that are proving that there is a better way forward for animals, people and the environment".

 

ASPCA specifically anticipates grant request quantifying the alleged financial burden of factory farming and adverse effects on the environment and public health. The grants are essentially support for those who wish to "dig up dirt" on our highly efficient food system and to advance the unstated but evident vegan orientation of the ASPCA.


 

Egg Monthly

06/11/2022

REVIEW OF MAY 2022 EGG PRODUCTION COSTS AND STATISTICS.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • May 2022 USDA ex-farm blended USDA nest-run benchmark price was 208.9 cents per dozen, 11 percent lower than the April 2022 value of 235.9 cents per dozen. For comparison average USDA benchmark price for 2021 was 84.3 cents per dozen with a range of 58.0 cents per dozen in June to a high of 123.6 in December. Stock levels and prices prior to the onset of flock depletion due to HPAI indicated a relative seasonal balance between supply and demand. Prevailing wholesale prices will be largely dependent on the magnitude of any future flock depletions, retail sales and margins, diversion from the egg-breaking sector and fluctuation attributed to the price discovery system.

 

  • May 2022 USDA average nest-run production cost was 1.2 cents per dozen (1.4 percent) lower than in April 2022 to 83.3 cents per dozen, mainly attributable to a 1.9 percent lower average feed cost per dozen.

 

  • May 2022 USDA benchmark nest-run margin attained a positive value of 125.6 cents per dozen compared to a margin of 151.4 cents per dozen for April 2022.

 

  • April 2022 national flock in production (over 30,000 hens/farm) was down 3.5 percent or 10.4 million hens over a revised March 2022 value of 285.9 million. Approximately 2.5 million hens returned to production from molt in early May together with projected maturation of 24.0 million pullets, with this number offset by depletion of spent flocks. Through the end of April, 31.5 million hens were depleted to control HPAI

 

  • April 2022 pullet chick hatch was down 16.7 percent or 5.1 million from March 2022 to 25.4 million.

 

  • April 2022 exports of shell eggs and products combined were down 16.5 percent from March 2022 to 582,400 case equivalents representing the theoretical production of 8.5 million hens.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Summary tables for the latest USDA May 2022 prices and flock statistics made available by the EIC on June 10th 2022 are arranged, summarized, tabulated and reviewed in comparison with values from the previous May 8th 2022 posting reflecting April 2022 costs and production data.

 

COSTS & REVENUE

Parameter

MAY 2022

APRIL 2022

5-Region Cost of Production ex farm (1st Cycle)1

83.3 c/doz*

84.5 c/doz

Low

79.6 c/doz (NE)

80.8 c/doz (NE)

High

91.9 c/doz (N.West)

93.3c/doz (N.West)

Components of USDA 6-Region 1stCycle nest-run Cost of Production:-

*Adjusted by EIC

Notes: 1. Rounded to decimal of a cent

 

 

MAY 2022

APRIL 2022

Feed

52.2 c/doz

53.2c/doz

Pullet depreciation

13.8 c/doz

14.0 c/doz

Labor (estimate)

4.0 c/doz

4.0 c/doz

Housing (estimate)

5.0 c/doz

5.0 c/doz

Miscellaneous and other*

8.3 c/doz

8.3 c/doz


* Adjusted January 2022 and used as a rounding factor

 

Ex Farm Margin (rounded to nearest cent) according to USDA values reflecting May 2022:-

208.9 cents per dozen1- 83.3 cents per dozen = +125.6 cents per dozen (April 2022 comparison: 235.9 cents per dozen – 84.5 cents per dozen = +151.4 cents per dozen.)

Note 1: USDA Blended egg price

 


 


Lidl Donates To Long Island Cares Food Bank

06/10/2022

To mark opening their 23rd re-purposed store on Long Island, NY, Lidl will donate $1 to the Long Island Cares Food Bank for every new loyalty member signing up during the grand opening weekend. 

 

Lidl has experienced a difficult entry to the U.S. and initial projections for expansion have not materialized, resulting in changes in top management and strategy.

 

Globally, Lidl operates 11,000 stores in 32 nations and employs 310,000 worldwide.  As of June 2022, Lidl operates 170 stores in the U.S. and competes directly with deep discounter Aldi, offering low prices but also with a narrow range of products, the majority of which are private label.


 

Target Lowers Revenue and Profit Forecasts

06/10/2022

Following release of Q1 results that impacted the shares of the Company as well as other retailers, Target announced on June 6th that Q2 results would be affected by current market conditions and possibly compounded by inappropriate decisions.  Target has announced plans to “right size” inventory and to be more nimble and will fine-tune pricing.  Target is also upgrading warehousing near ports following the lead of Walmart. The company, along with competitors is experiencing high transportation and fuel costs.  Negative guidance reduced Target (TGT) share price by close to four percent at the market open on Tuesday June 7th

 

Despite the profit warning, Brian Cornell, Chairman and CEO of Target noted that, “Business continues to generate a healthy increase in traffic and sales despite sustained volatility in the macro environment.”  He indicated that short-term remedial action would impose additional costs but the company is confident that this will place the company in a more competitive position and will contribute to intermediate-term profitability.

 

Results for Target covering Q1 of fiscal 2022 can be retrieved by entering “Target” in the Search block.


 

Walmart To Establish Fulfillment Centers

06/10/2022

Following the lead of Kroger with their partner, Ocada, Walmart has announced that it will erect four fulfillment centers using robotics and advanced computer technology to achieve a high level of efficiency. Walmart will use Knapp technology that has been tested in a fulfillment center in NJ.   The aim is to offer same-day shipping of a wide range of groceries, clothing and household items that will be available to in excess of three quarters of the U.S. population.

 

According to Dave Guggina, V.P. of Innovation at Walmart, the fulfillment centers will perform the following sequence:-

  • unloading delivered merchandise,
  • distribution of products within the center using an automated storage system,
  • retrieval of products to fill orders using shuttle transports
  • Packing orders followed by shipping

 

Planned fulfillment centers will range from 1.1 to 2.2 million square feet in extent and will be located in Joliet, IL., McCordsville, IN. and Greencastle, PA. scheduled to commence production over the third quarter of 2022 through to mid-2024.  It is anticipated that the four centers, collectively, will provide employment for 4,000 workers, many of whom will have high-paying jobs requiring training and technology.  Ultimately, Walmart intends establishing automated fulfillment centers that will serve 4,700 stores in the U.S. and receive items from 210 distribution centers.

 

Walmart will also upgrade existing distribution centers to deploy robotics from Symbotic Inc. with the first 25 installations scheduled for immediate implementation.


 

Third Trial Of Pilgrim’s Pride and Claxton Executives

06/10/2022

Egg-NewsThe third trial of executives who allegedly colluded to fix the price of supply contracts is taking place in Colorado in a U.S. District Court presided over by Judge Phillip Brimmer.  The first case was heard in December 2021 and the second in March 2022, both resulting in hung juries.

 

Egg-NewsThe Department of Justice Antitrust Division is intent on prosecuting Pilgrim’s Pride former CEOs Jayson Penn and William Lovette and Claxton Poultry President Mikell Fries, V.P. Scott Brady and Roger Austin, formerly with Pilgrim’s Pride.

 

The Department of Justice believes that reducing the number of defendants and simplifying submissions will convince a jury that illegal, anticompetitive action occurred, given the evidence presented.  Although apparently skeptical of the DOJ case, Judge Brimmer rejected a defendant’s request to dismiss the indictments.


 

USDA-WASDE FORECAST #625 June 11th 2022

06/10/2022

OVERVIEW

 

Egg-NewsIn a preamble to the May WASDE Report the USDA cautioned that events in Eastern Europe following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation would have unpredictable consequences. It is evident that the 2022 harvests will be seriously reduced and that Black Sea shipping is disrupted. This situation continues with no prospect of resolution.

 

The June 10th 2022 WASDE retained corn and soybean data from May for the 2022 season consistent with planting commencing at the end of April with delays in the major production areas due to inclement weather. Projections of the acreages of corn and soybeans to be planted were unchanged from the April report to conform to the Prospective Planting Report released on March 31st. This showed a four percent reduction in corn acreage and a corresponding increase in the area planted to soybeans. Corn and soybean yields were unchanged from May.

 

Egg-NewsThe USDA ERS raised the projected ending stock for corn consistent with a projected increase in supply. Ending stocks for soybeans were lowered in response to an adjustment in carry over. The area of corn to be harvested in 2022 was projected to be 81.7 million acres. Soybean acreage was increased to 90.1 million acres. The respective acreages will be subject to revision depending on the situation in Ukraine, relative CME prices for corn and soybeans and predicted production margins as influenced by costs of fertilizer and fuel that are increasing rapidly. The July WASDE will confirm the respective acreages planted to the major crops.

 

The June 2022 WASDE initial estimate of corn yield was retained at 177.0 bushels per acre, despite the delay in planting as compared to 175.8 bushels per acre in 2021. The estimate of soybean yield was raised to 51.5 bushels per acre compared to 51.2 bushels per acre in 2021.

 

The June 2022 USDA projection for the ending stock of corn was raised to 1,400 million bushels assuming predetermined production level, domestic use and exports. The USDA lowered the projected ending stock for soybeans from 310 million bushels in the May report to 280 million bushels. The ending stocks for corn and soybeans will be revised in the July WASDE in the light of more accurate projections of acreage planted, emergence and exports as influenced by geopolitical events.

 

The June 2022 WASDE projection held the price of corn at $6.75 per bushel. The projected price for soybeans was adjusted upwards to 1470 cents per bushel. Soybean Meal was unchanged at $400 per ton. All three of the price projections deviate from the June 10th CME quotations for July delivery.

 

Projections included in the May and June 2022 WASDE reports were developed before the full impact of the invasion of the Ukraine can be evaluated. It is evident that production and hence exports of wheat, corn and sunflower seed by Ukraine will be sharply reduced compared to recent annual averages. It is accepted that USDA projections for export are also based on the perceived intentions and needs of China. This Nation has sharply curtailed purchases of commodities during the current market year despite drought and COVID-related disruption of imports during the first quarter of 2021.


 


Inappropriate Use Of Mobile App By Tim Horton’s Chain In Canada

06/10/2022

Egg-NewsThe Office of the Privacy Commissioner of the Government of Canada has determined that the Tim Horton’s geolocation function on the Company app was capable of tracking the location of users even when not activated.  Users of the app were led to believe that tracking was only possible when in use.  In effect, location of users was continually tracked, although it is unclear to what purpose Tim Horton’s may have used the data.  Continual tracking ceased in 2020 after an investigation by the Government of Canada.  It is however believed that some form of surveillance continued based on services provided by a U.S. third-party company.

 

Egg-NewsIn the official statement, Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner stated, “Tim Horton’s clearly crossed the line by amassing a huge amount of highly sensitive information about its customers.  Following people’s movements every few minutes of every day was clearly an inappropriate form of surveillance.”


 

Walmart To Establish Fulfillment Centers

06/10/2022

Egg-NewsFollowing the lead of Kroger with their partner, Ocada, Walmart has announced that it will erect four fulfillment centers using robotics and advanced computer technology to achieve a high level of efficiency. Walmart will use Knapp technology that has been tested in a fulfillment center in NJ.   The aim is to offer same-day shipping of a wide range of groceries, clothing and household items that will be available to in excess of three quarters of the U.S. population.

 

According to Dave Guggina, V.P. of Innovation at Walmart, the fulfillment centers will perform the following sequence:-

 

  • unloading delivered merchandise,
  • distribution of products within the center using an automated storage system,
  • retrieval of products to fill orders using shuttle transports
  • Packing orders followed by shipping

 

Planned fulfillment centers will range from 1.1 to 2.2 million square feet in extent and will be located in Joliet, IL., McCordsville, IN. and Greencastle, PA. scheduled to commence production over the third quarter of 2022 through to mid-2024.  It is anticipated that the four centers, collectively, will provide employment for 4,000 workers, many of whom will have high-paying jobs requiring training and technology.  Ultimately, Walmart intends establishing automated fulfillment centers that will serve 4,700 stores in the U.S. and receive items from 210 distribution centers.

 

Walmart will also upgrade existing distribution centers to deploy robotics from Symbotic Inc. with the first 25 installations scheduled for immediate implementation.


 

Crop Progress

06/06/2022

Status of 2022 Corn and Soybean Crops

 

The USDA Crop Progress Report released on June 6th documented a substantial increase in planting of both corn and soybeans from the previous week as farmers were able to access their fields. Corn is now 94 percent planted and 78 percent of soybeans are in the ground, both values close to their respective 4-year averages. Planting is behind the corresponding week in 2021 when farmers in 18 states had completed sowing of 98 percent of corn and 89 percent of soybeans by June 5th. The delay in 2022 was attributed to wet field conditions. During the week ending June 5th 2021 an average of 4.8 days were suitable for field-work among IL, NE, IA, MN and OH. There were also delays due to availability of seed and fertilizer in addition to late decisions on selection of crop.

 

Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels were comparable with the corresponding weeks in 2021 although some areas will continue to experience difficulty in planting and field work due to local extremes in topsoil moisture. EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of the 2022 harvest in November.

 

WEEK ENDING

Crop

May 29th

June 5th

4-Year Average

Corn Planted (%)

Corn Emerged (%)

86

61

94

78

92

81

Soybeans planted (%)

Soybeans emerged (%)

66

39

78

56

79

59

Egg-News

Crop Condition

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn 2022

Corn 2021

1

1

3

4

23

23

61

58

12

14

To be recorded in mid- June

Soybeans 2022

Soybeans 2021

Egg-News

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

9

16

63

12

Past Year

12

22

56

10

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

12

17

61

10

Past Year

14

22

56

8

Egg-News

Reference is made to the May 12th WASDE Report #624 retrievable under the STATISTICS Tab.


 

H5N1 Mortality in Gannets In Quebec and Buzzards in Georgia

06/04/2022

Egg-NewsThe Quebec Wildlife Ministry announced that since May 24th, hundreds of gannets have died on the Magdalen Islands in Quebec as a result of H5N1 infection.  Currently, dead birds are collected for disposal, a task that is complicated by the terrain and logistic restraints.

 

There is growing concern both in Europe and in North America that the H5N1 strain is becoming endemic in wildlife, including a wide range of bird species. Isolation of the strain from skunks and foxes, indicates susceptibility of mammals that may become reservoir hosts maintaining and disseminating H5N1.

 

Egg-NewsReports of outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in backyard flocks continue with the most recent case in Toombs County, GA.  Since this was not a commercial farm although comprising 400 birds including passerine, anseriform and galliform species, the event should not impact exports.  Producers should maintain strict biosecurity to prevent exposure, since the virus is obviously present in the East-central part of the state. The press report indicated that the buzzards in the vicinity of the affected farm are also dying, presumably from HPAI.


 

Restaurants Adding Surcharges To Offset Inflation

06/04/2022

Egg-NewsSurveys conducted by Lightspeed, a software developer, noted the sharp increase in service charges added to restaurant bills during the past twelve months to April 2022. Close to a third  (36.4 percent) of restaurants added surcharges among a sample of 6,000.  The value of surcharges almost doubled over the twelve months.  Peter Dougherty, General Manager of Hospitality for Lightspeed, noted that the additions imposed by restaurants are due to increased costs of operation.

 

Fees are euphemistically referred to as “non-cash adjustment”; “fuel surcharge”; “kitchen appreciation” and “temporary inflation fee”. Additional fees are frequently overlooked by diners, although price-sensitive customers are responding negatively to inflated checks and are either complaining or leaving the restaurant with a sense of having been imposed on.


 

Walmart Consolidating Training Programs

06/04/2022

Egg-NewsWalmart has announced the development of the One Global Academy.  It will centralize in-person and online training and leadership programs.  Lorraine Stomski, Senior V.P. for Learning and Leadership at Walmart, noted, “With an increased focus on creating even better customer experiences and higher associate engagement, the Global Walmart Academy will bring together all training and development programs and facilitate on-the-job skills”

 

Frontline U.S. employees are eligible for the Live Better U that reimburses workers for college tuition and books.  The Academy will complement the training of associates to develop new skills for more advanced career opportunities.

 

Egg-News

In recognizing the need for suitably educated candidate store managers Walmart has implemented the College2Career pilot program to advance new graduates to managerial positions within two years.  The leadership skills required will be presented at the Academy.  The central location for training will allow participants to achieve an understanding of Walmart history and culture and to learn from company leaders during in-person and immersive sessions.


 

Israel Reports H5N8 In Wild Birds

06/04/2022

Egg-NewsAccording to a ProMED mail posting on June 2nd, authorities in Israel confirmed cases of H5N8 avian influenza in wild birds.  One case involved a Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) in mid-April and a second case during early May in a white stork (Ciconia ciconia)

 

The presence of H5N8, last reported in Israel in April 2021, follows control of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in both wild birds and commercial poultry flocks.

 

Egg-NewsApproximately five thousand cranes (Grus grus) were among the many casualties of the H5N1 outbreak.  For the 2022 migration season, authorities will not feed resting birds that aggregate in the wetlands of the Hula Valley, since their concentration leads to intra-flock transmission and high mortality and prolongs their stay, adding to the risk of infection of poultry flocks.

 

Hopefully H5N8 will not emerge as a strain of significance in late 2022 and into 2023.


 

Labor Availability To Be Tight During Summer

06/03/2022

Egg-NewsDuring the approaching summer available workers will be in short supply, including teenagers who traditionally work in the restaurant and the leisure sectors.  It is estimated that 30 million workers are responsible for 10 percent of annual U.S. gross national product with the period of major activity extending from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Currently employment in the restaurant sector is seven percent below February 2020 prior to the impact of COVID.

 

The Administration will make an additional 35,000 seasonal-worker visas available for summer, adding to the 66,000 normally extended to guest workers.  This provision will be inadequate, given the national estimate of 11.5 million unfilled jobs.

 

Egg-NewsA robust, functional and profitable restaurant industry maintains prices for all agricultural commodities, including eggs. Higher wages paid by the restaurant and leisure industry will compete with the need for seasonal labor on farms.


 

Benefits Of Federal Export Promotion Funding

06/03/2022

Egg-NewsThe U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council an industry association has evaluated the beneficial impact of the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development program (FMD).  The study demonstrated that the combined effect of export promotion increased trade by $9.6 million annually over the period 1977 to 2019. Based on the review of data, the Council estimated a 24 to 1 return on export promotion funding.

 

Egg-NewsDuring the previous Administration, the MAP and FMD were instrumental in developing and supporting new markets for commodities and animal products. Identifying prospective importers was required to compensate for retaliatory measures imposed by China during the tariff war that developed from 2017 onwards.

 

All sectors of the U.S. poultry industry benefit from export as a result of MAP including support for the USAPEEC.


 

Lidl US Reduces Prices on Selected Items

06/03/2022

Egg-NewsFollowing the lead of Aldi a major force in deep discount groceries, Lidl US will reduce the price of approximately a hundred items in all 172 stores in the U.S.  Discounts range from 10 percent for sirloin steak to 13 percent for canned fruit. Lidl president and CEO, Michal Lagunionek stated, "this price-cutting drive is part of Lidl's ongoing commitment to offer the best value in every community we serve". 

 

Egg-NewsPrevious reports in EGG-NEWS have confirmed the 10.8 percent increase in April food-at-home index in April with a 14 percent hike from April 2021 for meat and poultry.  In May, Aldi confirmed its policy on reducing prices in the 2,172-store chain across thirty-eight states.


 

France Initiates HPAI Vaccination Trial

06/03/2022

Egg-NewsFollowing repeated outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic avian Influenza (HPAI) with extensive losses among domestic waterfowl, veterinary authorities in France have initiated a trial to determine the efficacy of vaccines as a control measure. Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie decided that the evaluation of vaccines should be undertaken by the National School of Veterinary Medicine in Toulouse.

 

France has diagnosed 1,370 HPAI infections since the third quarter of 2021 resulting in depletion of 16 million birds with a high concentration in the Vendee Region, the epicenter of foie gras production.  Since December 2021 control measures comprising depletion of infected flocks and in some cases preemptive culling, has resulted in a cost exceeding $165 million.  It is understood that two DNA vaccines are undergoing evaluation.  The objective of the study is to ascertain whether creating an immune population will prevent dissemination of H5N1 virus among farms within a region. 

 

Egg-NewsAccording to the World Organization of Animal Health (WOAH, successor to the OIE) “The use of vaccination against avian influenza may be recommended under specific conditions.  Any vaccine used should comply with the standards described in the Terrestrial Manual.”

 

The Manual includes the statement, “Vaccination can be used as an effective complementary control tool when a stamping-out policy alone is insufficient.  Whether to vaccinate or not should be decided by the Veterinary Authority on the basis of the avian influenza situation as well as the ability of the Veterinary Services to implement the vaccination strategy as described in relevant Chapter 4.”


 

Royal DSM Acquires Firmenich

06/03/2022

Egg-NewsIn a May 31 announcement, Royal DSM announced acquisition of 66 percent of the shareholding of Firmenich, a Geneva-based food and health company.  Business units include perfumes, foods and beverages and both human and animal nutrition with sales of approximately $12 billion annually.

 

Thomas Leysen chairman of DSM noted, “DSM-Firmenich will bring together leading creativity and cutting-edge science and innovation.”  He added, “Together we will be able to better serve the needs of customers and deliver compelling growth in returns.”

 

The transaction will be completed during the first half of 2023.

 


 

World Organization for Animal Health Renamed

06/03/2022

Egg-NewsEgg-NewsThe World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) centered in Paris, was founded in 1924 actually preceding the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization that was formed after WWII. WOAH is also referred to as the Office International des Epizooties (OIE).  Currently there are 182 member nations cooperating to maintain health of livestock.

 

The rebrand recognizes the impact of diseases of animals and their zoonotic implications. WOAH intends to “foster solidarity among all of it members and create substantial networks of expertise with easy access to knowledge and data.”

 

Among various functions WOAH establishes standards for welfare and the diagnosis of livestock infections and parasitism and develops rules that govern trade in live animals and products.


 

Ovotrack Establishes Strategic Partnership with Innovatec

06/03/2022

Egg-NewsA strategic alliance was recently announced between Ovotrack and Innovatec Hatchery Automation. Ovotrack is a leading supplier of traceability solutions for egg grading and processing.  Innovatec also based in Holland, specializes in hatchery automation with mechanical egg and chick-handling installations in the E.U. and the international market.

 

Egg-NewsBased on extensive experience in table-egg  applications Ovotrack recently developed software and tracking systems for the hatchery segment of poultry production. Cooperation between the companies should contribute to the further growth of both enterprises with benefits to customers from the resulting synergy. 

 

In commenting on the agreement at the VIV Europe Exhibition, Job Beekhuis, Managing Director and founder of Ovotrack stated, "By joining our forces with Innovatec we are increasing our footprint into the hatchery sector".  He added, "The increasing demand for data in hatcheries and the growing focus on traceability is a global trend and the market is seeking innovative solutions that we can offer”.


 

Cynical Offer By President Putin to Release Ukraine Commodities

06/03/2022

Egg-NewsPresident Vladimir Putin announced on May 30th that he would be prepared to allow shipment of Ukrainian commodities including wheat and sunflower oil from Black Sea ports.  This would require lifting the current blockade and concurrently remove mines seeded by the Russian Federation in shipping lanes.

 

There is nothing altruistic about Putin.  In return, he is demanding the lifting of sanctions that are beginning to impact the Russian economy.  Basically, Russia is holding the poor nations of Africa and consumers in the Middle East to ransom.  The Putin initiative is presently facilitated by Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, displaying his proclivity as an opportunist rather than as a peacemaker.  In pursuing this role, Erdogan offered to serve as a disinterested observer with Istanbul, the headquarters of an agency to supervise any agreement between Western nations and the Russian Federation.

 

Ukraine normally exports six million tons of wheat, corn and other grains each month but since the invasion by the Russian Federation, export terminals and ports including Chornonorsk, Odessa, Kherson and Mykolaiv are non-functional. Ukraine has relied on rail and road to ship product from the 2021 harvest westward.  It is a matter of record that Russia has stolen over 400,000 metric tons of grain in elevators and has deliberately destroyed agricultural infrastructure, including silos, warehouses and oilseed crushing plants.  The current escalation in the price of wheat will obviously benefit Russia with a potential record crop approaching 88 million metric tons.

 

Egg-NewsThe readiness of Russia to hold the world to ransom is characteristic of a tyrant and manipulator.  Using wheat as a weapon is as offensive as detaining U.S. citizens on trumped up charges to be exchanged for spies.  The threatened oil embargo has the potential to bite deeply into the economy of Russia. Standing firm 100 days into the invasion, maintaining international sanctions and military support of Ukraine in their attempts to repel their invader will do more to achieve resolution than negotiations and concessions.


 

Impact Of Inflation On Consumer Spending on Protein

06/03/2022

Egg-NewsThe April Consumer Price Index (CPI) soared by10.8 percent from April 2021, the largest rise in four decades.  The cost of both gasoline and diesel fuel are the major drivers in recent months responding to post-COVID demand and the geopolitical fallout from the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.  Groceries increased by 10.8 percent in April 2022 compared to the corresponding month in 2021 with meat and poultry adding 14.3 percent.

 

Egg-NewsA study by Midan Marketing determined that 54 percent of consumers surveyed do not intend changing their purchases of protein foods. In contrast 32 percent will buy less meat but offset by 13 percent intending to increase their purchases. An analyst for J.P. Morgan Chase noted that demand for beef is linked to average income.  In the event that there is a swing from a tight labor market to layoffs that would be expected in the event of a recession, beef demand will fall sharply.  Chicken will be the natural beneficiary of heightened concern over household budgets.  Workers who have not benefitted from increased wage rates and the elderly on fixed incomes will be most affected by inflation and will be seeking value, especially in their purchases of protein including eggs.

 

Given the projected supply of petroleum products including crude oil and natural gas, and disruptions in supply, high prices for gasoline and diesel are expected to persist through the third quarter of 2022.  While individual consumers can reduce gasoline use by changing driving habits, truckers and food companies will bear the additional cost of diesel fuel that will inevitably be passed on to consumers.

 

An interesting side issue from Midan Marketing survey is that one percent of the respondents noted that they did not purchase meat.  This is a far lower figure than frequently cited by promoters of a vegan lifestyle who claim that up to ten percent of consumers avoid red meat and poultry over considerations of welfare and sustainability.

Egg-News

 

Taiwan Accepts U.S. Egg Production Systems

06/02/2022

Egg-NewsAccording to a USDA-FAS GAIN report TW2022-0027 released on May 26th, the U.S. is now eligible to export eggs and egg products to Taiwan.  Effective May 30th 2022, U.S. facilities are regarded as equivalent with respect to inspection and correspond to the regulations pertaining in Taiwan.

 

Egg-NewsThe decision by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration was based on an audit of the egg system in the U.S. and in-person inspection during 2019. Over the first quarter of 2022, Taiwan was not listed among the major importers of table eggs.  Taiwan imported a nominal quantity of 207 metric tons of egg products during the first quarter with the prospect of increasing volumes shipped.


 

AEB Promoting Real Eggs In Ad Campaign

06/02/2022

Egg-NewsThe American Egg Board (AEB) has launched the “Dozenish Reasons” campaign directed at manufacturers to encourage the use of eggs in products.  The sharp increase in price of both shell eggs and liquid has motivated inclusion egg substitutes by caterers and manufacturers in recipes as occurred during the 2015 HPAI epornitic.

 

The campaign delivered close to 100,000 impressions through April and May with full-page advertisements in Food Technology and Prepared Food with additional digital placements to continue through July.


 

Big Dutchman USA Appoints Erica Prewitt as Avian System Specialist

06/02/2022

Egg-NewsDuring the Mid-West Poultry Federation Meeting Erica Prewitt, presented a talk on virtual training for the management of cage-free flocks.  The slide set used is reproduced for the benefit of subscribers who did not attend the presentation.  DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

 

Egg-NewsAdditional information and specific questions can be addressed to Ms. Prewitt at <EPrewitt@BigDutchmanUSA.com>.

 

 


 

AEB Reports Successful Complete Training Table Contest

06/02/2022

Egg-NewsThe Complete Training Table Contest that ran from January 11th through March 11th featured Joy Bauer, a nutrition and lifestyle expert, on the TODAY show.  A NordicTrack home exercise system was offered as a prize with contestants challenged to submit egg recipes.

 

Egg-NewsThe contest contributed to an 18 percent increase in egg sales to the cohort participating in the training table contest.  It is estimated by Ketchum that eight thousand new consumers purchased eggs as a result of the contest.


 

Ovostar Union Impacted by Invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation

06/01/2022

Egg-NewsIn a recent financial release, Ovostar Union Agro Industries reported on the first quarter of fiscal 2022.  For the period, the company posted a net loss of $16.4 million on revenue of $277 million.  For the corresponding first quarter of 2021, the company earned $4.7 million of revenue of $316 million. 

 

Ovostar Union Group is vertically integrated and is the second largest egg producer in Ukraine.  The company sold 87 percent of product in the domestic market with the remainder as export.  Shell eggs represented 75 percent of revenue with 25 percent as egg products. Disruption of exports to the Middle East following the blockage of the Port of Odessa contributed to the reduction in revenue.

 

Egg-News The company experienced major declines in the Eastern and Southern quadrants of the nation impacted by the conflict, compared to the Central and Western Oblasts that were largely unaffected by the invasion other than by aerial bombardment.

 

Egg-NewsA major facility located in Makarov ceased production after occupation by Russian forces but is now undergoing repair of damage following reoccupation by Ukrainian troops.

 

Destruction of facilities resulted in net assets declining by 18.3 percent from December 31st 2021, to $115 million and long-term debt increased to $5.8 million.


 

Demise Of Australia’s “Big Birds”

05/31/2022

Fifty thousand years ago, the Mihirunga (Genyornis newtoni) ‘Thunderbird’ roamed Australia in large numbers.  This bird, weighing as much as 500 pounds and standing six-foot at the back, became extinct 45,000 years ago.  Scientists from Flinders University attribute the demise of the giant bird over a period of 5,000 years to humans gathering and consuming their eggs, reducing the rate of reproduction.  This conclusion was based on shell remnants that had obviously been treated by heat among remains of human settlements.

 

To date, it has not been possible to isolate DNA from bones of the Mihirunga.  Not that any Jurassic Park reintroduction of the bird would be possible.  From a commercial perspective, the Mihirunga had little breast meat was effectively wingless as with all ratites, but very large thighs and gigantic drumsticks. As with all heavy birds, egg production was a limiting factor to sustaining the population, especially after the arrival of human predators.


 

Icahn Fails in Attempt to Move McDonald's Corp on Gestation Crates

05/31/2022

By any measure, Icahn suffered a severe loss in his recent campaign to make McDonald's Corporation commit to phasing out purchase of pork derived from sows held in gestation crates.

 

His two nominees for the Board gained only one percent of the shareholder vote.  The lopsided response to the resolution probably does not represent the sentiment of consumers.  This presumption should be taken into account by the Board and management of McDonald's Corporation.

 

Carl Ichan, an experienced and influential activist investor may regroup and commit serious funding to a subsequent nomination of candidates to the Board.

 

Egg-NewsMcDonald's Corporation issued a statement following the annual meeting confirming their commitment to leadership on environmental social and governance issues that presumably would include sow welfare following their stance on cage-free egg production. Their intentions will be judged by events.

Egg-News

Egg-News


 

Trends In Ingredient Availability

05/31/2022

Egg-NewsOn May 24th, a webinar on availability and prices of raw materials exemplified the uncertainty that exists with regard to 2022.  The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation has created considerable uncertainty on future prices and availability with worldwide repercussions.  The webinar highlighted the following trends:

 

  • Russia will, in all probability, export more grain than in 2021.
  • Ukraine will be unable to produce or export wheat and sunflower products at the high levels recorded in 2021 due to disruption following the invasion.  Wheat prices will remain high until shipments of Canadian and Southern Hemisphere commence during the 2022/2023 market year.
  • Demand for wheat and soybeans by China have decreased as a result of the slowdown of the economy.
  • Planting progress in the U.S. was markedly behind the 2021 season at the beginning if May but compensatory progress has been made in recent weeks, although there may be a negative impact on yield.  Greater clarity will be obtained following release of the June 2022 World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates.
  • Ongoing drought in Brazil and neighboring nations will reduce supplies of grains and soybeans.
  • Yields may be impacted by lower levels of application of fertilizer that has increased sharply in price for the Northern Hemisphere 2022 planting season.
  • Corn supply from the U.S. will be limited by the four percent shift to planting soybeans, late sowing and the Renewable Fuel Standard diverting corn to ethanol.
  • Shortages in North African and Middle East nations reliant on wheat from Ukraine may be reversed if ports in the southeast of the nation remain open.  This will require NATO action to lift the current blockade imposed by the Russian Federation.

 

Egg-NewsIt was the consensus of the participants representing international ingredient trading organizations and media that prices for feed ingredients will remain high through the third quarter of 2022.


 

Hepatitis A Outbreak Attributed To Organic Strawberries

05/31/2022

Egg-NewsOrganic strawberries branded as FreshKampo and HEB grown in Mexico have been implicated by the FDA in an outbreak of Hepatitis A. Product was marketed in a number of chains including Aldi, Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Walmart.  Potentially affected product was packed between March 5th and April 25th and is presumably no longer in refrigerators.  Cases have been reported from numerous U.S. states and provinces in Canada.  At this time, 12 out of 17 cases have been hospitalized with liver damage, especially in the elderly or those with a predisposing liver disease.

 

Egg-NewsThis outbreak confirms that the USDA organic seal does not imply freedom from either viral or bacterial pathogens. Organic produce is cultivated according to rules established by the Organic Standards Board and are grown without application of artificial fertilizer or pesticides. There are no commercial GM cultivars of strawberries available so all strawberries are non-GMO.  Since product from the plant of origin is no longer available all strawberries, whether organic or conventional, can be purchased and consumed with the usual precautions concerning handling and storage. Incident cases of hepatitis will be diagnosed in succeeding weeks since the infection has a prolonged incubation period.


 

Non-Human Rights Project Litigates Over Zoo Elephant

05/31/2022

Egg-NewsThe Non-Human Rights Project has again appealed adverse verdicts in lower courts to the New York State Court of Appeals. At issue is the release of a 52-year-old elephant from the Bronx Zoo to be transferred to a sanctuary.  The issue of the status of the elephant has profound implications for livestock production.  If the Non-Human Rights Project, that has attempted to establish “personhood” for primates and now an elephant, would create a slippery slope in which livestock and eventually poultry could attain legal status parallel to humans. This would allow animal activists to be appointed by courts to serve as curators and would obviously lead to a ban on raising animals for slaughter and would impact medical research.

 

Egg-NewsThe elephant in question was brought to the U.S. at one year of age after capture in Asia during the early 1970s. She was transferred to the Bronx Zoo in 1977 and lives in an enclosure of approximately one acre in extent adjacent to a second elephant. The environment allows for foraging, wallowing and other behaviors appropriate for elephants.

 

The accredited Bronx Zoo, operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, allows the elephant to be well cared for and she is not “illegally imprisoned nor is she a person” according to the attorney representing the facility.

 

Egg-NewsThe New York Farm Bureau, in addition to state and national associations representing veterinarians, have all filed briefs opposing the appeal by the Non-Human Rights Project. The State Court of Appeals will have to rule on whether the elephant can be granted habeas corpus that would infer personhood and allow a designated curator the right to make decisions on behalf of the elephant as a Britney Spears quadruped with a trunk.

 


 

Adrian, MI. Egg Products Plant Cited By Environmental Regulators

05/31/2022

Egg-NewsOvaInnovations of Madison, WI, purchased the Dairy Farmers of America milk-processing plant in Adrian in December 2021.  The plant was converted to an egg-drying facility for pet food and is operated as Crimson Holdings, LLC.

 

The Adrian Daily Telegram reported that the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes Energy and Air Quality Division has issued citations to the company as a result of odor complaints from residents.  The Lenawee County Health Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are also investigating the operation of the plant following complaints.  At issue is the release of hydrogen sulfide (‘rotten-egg’ gas) produced during heating of egg liquid during the drying process. 

 

Citations include:-

  • Changing an exhaust stack without a permit, apparently implemented before the purchase by OvaInnovations
  • Detection of odors 0.4 miles from the plant
  • Changing the process within the plant without submitting appropriate requests

 

Egg-NewsCrimson Holdings, LLC in responding to the citation, noted their intent to alter the stack by increasing height and to modify the production process.  The company has purchased a fogging system that is under evaluation to suppress odor.  In responding to the State agency, the company agreed to “continue testing these products for the next month, varying application rates and products until the best option is found.”  The company has set up an online complaint website and is attempting to resolve the odor and reputational problems that have arisen since conversion of the milk-drying plant to process eggs.


 

Dollar General and Dollar Tree Report on Q1 of 2022

05/30/2022

Egg-NewsOn May 26th, Dollar General (DG) reported on Q1 of FY 2022 ending April 30th.  Concurrently Dollar Tree (DLTR) reported on Q1 of FY 2022 ending May 1st.

 

Dollar General earned $552.6 million on sales of $8,751 million with a diluted EPS of $2.41.  Revenue was 4.1 percent higher compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2021, but net income was 19.3 percent lower and EPS down by 14.5 percent.

 

Dollar Tree earned $536.4 million on revenue of $6,900 million with a diluted EPS of $2.37.  Compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2021, revenue was up 6.5 percent, net income by 43.2 percent and diluted EPS 48.1 percent higher.

 

In comparing financial performance of the Dollar stores, growth in same-store sales declined by 0.1 percent for Dollar General compared to an increase of 11.2 percent for Dollar Tree but with a 2.5 percent decline for subsidiary Family Dollar.  Dollar General market capitalization on May 30th was $42.9 billion compared to $30.1 billion for Dollar Tree. Dollar General traded during the past fifty-two-weeks over a range of $188.25 to $262.21.  Forward PE is 16.3.  Dollar Tree has traded over fifty-two-weeks in a range of $84.26 to $177.29. Forward PE is 16.7.

 

Egg-NewsThe twelve-month trailing values reflecting management effectiveness were return on assets of 7.3 percent for Dollar General and 5.9 percent for Dollar Tree.  The respective returns on equity were 37.3 percent for Dollar General compared to 19.0 percent for Dollar Tree.  Dollar General achieved an operating margin of 8.9 percent compared to Dollar Tree at 7.7 percent.  The respective profit margins were 6.6 percent for Dollar General and 5.6 percent for Dollar Tree.

 

DLTR gained 17.7 percent at the open on May 27th after the Q1 release to $137.28. DG gained 15.5 percent to $235.69.

 

Dollar General plans to open 1,100 new stores in 2022 with 800 conforming to a larger 8,000 square foot format. By the end of the current year Dollar General will operate 18,000 stores with 11,000 equipped for self- check out payment. Dollar General has introduced fresh produce in 700 stores and will expand this offering in response to customer requests and pressure from local authorities concerned over the quality of nutrition of residents in inner-city neighborhoods.  


 

COVID Declining but Still a Problem

05/30/2022

Egg-NewsAccording to data collected and disseminated by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, COVID is still an ongoing problem in the U.S. but responsible for hospitalization and fatalities at a lower rate than at the beginning of the year.  Approximately two-thirds (66.5 percent) of the U.S. population has received two doses of an mRNA vaccine.  Of this number, half (46.4 percent) have received a booster dose. Notwithstanding uptake of vaccine, 109,740 new cases were recorded on March 19th with a seven-day average of 101,112 incident cases representing a 58.5 increase over the past two weeks.  The seven-day average fatality rate from (and with) COVID was 308, down 44 percent over the past two weeks. 

 

Total diagnosed deaths due to COVID attained 1,001,606 by May 19th but it is generally accepted that this number is an underestimate. Many cases during the first quarter of 2020 were either not recorded or documented as COVID.

 

The WHO estimates that total worldwide fatalities attributed to COVID have amounted to 6.3 million.  Out of a population of 7.9 billion worldwide, it may be assumed that five billion live in areas and nations with some form of health monitoring.  This would imply that among this population, the fatality rate was 13 per 100,000 a clear undercount.

 

Comparing the U.S. with Canada, 35,000 fatalities were attributed to COVID in our Northern neighbor since the beginning of the outbreak, among a population of 38 million. The U.S. has experienced 279 fatalities per 100,000 population compared to 94 per 100,000 in Canada.

 

Egg-NewsEpidemiologists attribute the difference between the neighboring nations to the fact that by February 9th 2022, 80 percent of the population of Canada had received two doses of vaccine with an additional five percent receiving at least one dose.  Concurrently, 64 percent of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated and 12 percent had received only one dose.  A third of the U.S. fatalities occurred during the seven months following introduction of vaccine compared to 25 percent in Canada. Universal access to publicly funded health care in all thirteen provinces and territories of Canada is considered to be a major factor contributing to a lower fatality rate.

 

During the January 2022 Omicron surge, U.S. admission to ICU rose to 79 per million population compared to 32 per million in Canada.  This suggests a higher level of protection among the population and early clinical intervention, reducing the need for ICU care.

 

Egg-News


 

Decline in Restaurant Visits During April

05/30/2022

Egg-NewsThe NPD Group has documented a four percent decline in visits to U.S. restaurants during April 2022 compared to the corresponding month in 2021.  Traffic was down 11 percent compared to April 2019, prior to the advent of COVID. The price of a meal on average was nine percent higher.  The rate of recovery from pre-COVID levels for consumer visits is evident especially in full-service restaurants down three percent in April 2022 compared to 2021 and 31 percent below April 2019.

 

David Portalatin, Food Industry Advisor to the NPD stated, "rising prices put pressures on consumers that contribute to the restaurant industry slowdown".  Since many consumers are eating at home to save money, Portalatin noted "operators need to demonstrate their value to consumers struggling with inflation".

 

Egg-NewsAs can be expected, the NPD survey showed that lower-income households and also consumers with children were less likely to eat at both QSRs and full-service restaurants.  A demographic with an annual income of under $50,000 reduced restaurant patronage by 11 percent and for households with children, by approximately eight percent compared to April 2021.

 

A second study conducted by Acosta, a market service company, showed that 54 percent of consumers have reduced their frequency of dining-out due to inflation and those that continue to patronize restaurants are "trading down" opting for cheaper meal options".


 

Drought in California Reducing Acreage Farmed

05/30/2022

Egg-NewsAccording to the California Farm Water Coalition, a sharp reduction in available water has resulted in up to 700,000 acres being fallowed in 2022.  Almost 40 percent of irrigated crop-land in California will be denied surface water in 2020 impacting fresh fruit, vegetables, orchards and leafy greens.

 

Egg-NewsBill Diedrich, president of the Coalition noted that every acre left unplanted because of a shortage of irrigation water results in 50,000 fewer salads.  Shortage of water will also result in a reduction of the workforce by 25,000 with an economic impact attaining $3 billion in 2022.


 

Albertsons to Test Veeve Smart Carts

05/30/2022

Egg-NewsAlbertsons will be testing Veeve Smart Carts in selected stores. This follows the initiative of Amazon in 14 Fresh high-technology stores and recently introduced to their Whole Foods Market subsidiary.

 

Smart carts are now integral to any scan-and-go system that integrates barcoding and where required, Egg-Newsrecording the weights of produce selected by the customer.

 

On commenting on the initiative, Alyse Wuson with Albertsons noted, “Our goal is to enhance the grocery experience no matter how our guest choose to shop and Veeve’s technology brings the ease and integration of E-commerce to the cart.”

 

 


 

U.S. West Coast Ports Inefficient

05/30/2022

Egg-NewsThe World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence has ranked ports worldwide in the second edition of the Container Port Performance Index.  Rankings are based on the duration of the turnaround time during which container vessels are docked to unload cargo and receive empty containers.

 

The ability of West Coast ports to service vessels was under stress during the late 2020s. The pandemic created serious delays resulting in disruption of supply chains. This contributed to shortages of imported goods, an inability to export agricultural products and both higher prices for importing nations. 

 

Leading world ports based on their efficiency during 2021 included the King Abdullah facility followed by major ports in Oman, Qatar and Abu Dhabi.  In fairness all these ports were recently constructed and equipped with modern equipment, adequate area and managed by expatriate personnel. Shanghai-Yangsan, Ningbo and Guangzhou in China were also among the top ten.

 

Egg-NewsThe King Abdullah port moves 96 containers per hour on average compared to 26 for West Coast facilities. In 2020, Los Angeles was ranked 337th in efficiency out of 351, followed by Long Beach at 341.  The Port of Virginia which is relatively modern ranked 23rd followed by Miami at the 29th rank, demonstrating the difference between the West and East coasts.

 

The World Bank determined that inefficiency was due to limitations on port area, deficient transport infrastructure, inadequate investment and oversight and a lack of coordination among public agencies involved in management and investment.


 

Survey Shows Consumers Tightening Purse Strings

05/30/2022

Egg-NewsA recent Midan Marketing Survey confirmed that more than half of shoppers surveyed have reduced expenditure and changed buying habits as a result of food inflation. The price of gasoline exceeding a national average of $4.50 per gallon in mid-May with regionally record-high prices is considered to be the driving factor for changes in purchasing patterns.

 

Egg-NewsExpensive cuts of red meat appear to be the most affected with a downward progression from steak to hamburger.  There is also replacement of beef by pork with chicken benefiting from selection based on protein value.  Eggs will be the obvious winner based on relatively low price per unit of protein, a factor that could be stressed by the American Egg Board.  Although egg prices have been unseasonably high due the depletion of as many as 30 million laying hens, price will decline as replacement flocks commence production.  During the week ending May 16th egg prices fell by 11 percent and then by an additional 15 percent in the succeeding week, continuing the downward trend.

 

The Midan Marketing Survey showed that 54 percent of shoppers are willing to purchase approximately the same quantity of food as during the immediate post COVID period although individual choices in the basket will favor value.  One-third of those surveyed indicated that they would purchase less food contrasted by 13 percent who may purchase more groceries.

 

Egg-NewsIt is considered significant that three quarters of respondents considered the price of red meat as being “too high”.  Health considerations motivated 17 percent of shoppers with regard to their protein with 15 percent concerned over additives including “hormones” and antibiotics.  Thirteen percent, presumably the affluent, considered quality over quantity in their purchase decision.  It is noteworthy that only 9 percent of respondents favored plant-based products presumably motivated by concerns over sustainability.  Welfare considerations only influenced 9 percent of shoppers.

 

The survey was carried out with the reality that the April 2022 Consumer Price Index was up by 8.3 percent compared to April 2021 with the food component higher by 9.4 percent.  There appears to be a growing gap between the cost of home preparation of food at approximately 11 percent and restaurant meals up a more modest 7 percent.  Notwithstanding this difference, home cooking increased sharply during COVID restrictions with a continuing trend. This will again benefit consumption of eggs that hopefully will find a place in lunch and dinner meal times and snacking in addition to breakfast.


 

Specialty “Natural” Retailers Maintain Volume During Inflation

05/30/2022

Egg-NewsDawn Valandingham writing in Supermarket News noted that specialty food retailers are not experiencing a decline in either traffic or value of purchases despite inflation. She justifiably attributes the relative immunity to higher prices to three factors. 

 

Egg-News

  • The first is that price gaps between conventional and “natural” foods have narrowed.

 

  • Dawn also attributes customer loyalty to perceptions of health associated with natural foods including taste and quality associated with private labels.

 

  • Perhaps the most important reason for continued support of stores retailing “natural” products relates to the fact that consumers are essentially in the high income demographic. They have sufficient concern for health and wellbeing that even modest increases in the cost of items have not affected purchasing patterns.

 


 

Deli Worker Implicated In Potential Hepatitis Outbreak

05/29/2022

Egg-NewsA worker in a deli department in a Skowhegan, ME. Walmart store was apparently handling food while infected with Hepatitis A. Customers were accordingly advised of potential exposure if they purchased products from the counter between May 7th and May 21st. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the case and has advised on vaccination that is effective within 14 days of probable exposure.

 

Egg-NewsIt is recommended that all employees of restaurants should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A, given the number of cases that are investigated each year in the U.S. Infected workers shedding virus who are involved in food preparation and handling are frequently diagnosed after many customers may have been exposed.  Experience has shown that requiring personal hygiene does not necessarily prevent infections.  Traceback of hepatitis is complicated by the relatively extended incubation period in comparison to some bacterial infections including salmonellosis. The long incubation period for listeriosis may also represent a problem of identifying the source with subsequent trace-back but this is an infection independent of food handlers.


 

William Marler Calls For Transparency Over Jif Recall

05/29/2022

Egg-NewsIn a May 26th posting on Food Safety News, Attorney William Marler advocated for transparency concerning the number of cases and the results of plant inspection reports conducted by the FDA on the outbreak of Salmonella Sentftenberg attributed to peanut butter.   To date 16 confirmed cases have been diagnosed in 12 states but as with many foodborne Salmonella infections, the actual number of those infected exceeds documented cases.  It has been calculated by the Centers for Disease Control that 40 times as many cases of salmonellosis actually occur compared to stool-cultured confirmation of infections.

 

Attorney Marler has justifiably requested:

  • That the FDA or the J.M. Smucker Company release inspection reports for the Jif plant extending from 2010 onwards.
  • Additional information is requested on the relationship among Salmonella isolates from patients and within the public database to establish any possible epidemiologic relationships based on whole genome sequencing.

 

Egg-NewsSince the incriminated peanut butter was used as an ingredient the presence of the contaminant has triggered a wide range of secondary recalls of processed food products in the U.S., Canada and even in the E.U.

 

The involvement of the Marler Clark law firm in this outbreak portends any future case of Salmonellosis associated with eggs or other poultry products.  The law firm is experienced in eliciting information and data from reluctant federal agencies and non-cooperative manufacturers. Disclosure of relevant information should be expected in any multi-state foodborne disease outbreak irrespective of concern over legal action.  In an attempt to obstruct possible claims of negligence, manufacturers frequently cite proprietary considerations or patient confidentiality as justifications to avoid release of data required for epidemiologic investigation of food-borne disease outbreaks.  


 








































































































































































































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