Egg Industry Statistics and Reports


Commodity Report

02/15/2024

WEEKLY ECONOMY, ENERGY AND COMMODITY REPORT: February 15th 2024.

 

OVERVIEW

 

Prices for feed ingredients were down again during the past week after release of the February WASDE Report. Prices were influenced by short covering arising from geopolitical concerns and the reality of bountiful harvests from Brazil and Argentine. Secondary factors included disruption in shipping in the Red Sea and Panama Canal, carryover from the 2023 U.S. crop, export orders and predicted ending stocks of corn and soybeans for 2024.

 

At 14H00 on February 15th the CME price for corn was down 3.0 percent compared to the previous week to 41.8 cents per bushel for March delivery. Corn price was influenced by increased ethanol demand and the size of the 2023 crop with proportionally high ending stock. Export orders for the current market year have increased in response to lower prices.  Volumes and prices are indirectly influenced by events in the Black and Red Seas. Orders by China resumed at the end of the 2022-2023 market-year and have extended into February despite an elevated dollar Index offset by low FOB prices. Total exports for the current market year are 31.4 percent higher than for the corresponding week during the 2022-2023 year.

 

Soybeans were down 0.6 percent from last week to 1,165 cents per bushel for March 2024 delivery. Gains were attributed to short covering. Total exports for the current market year are 22.1 percent lower than for the corresponding week in the 2022-2023 year.

 

Soybean meal was down a substantial 3.2 percent to $334 per ton for March delivery compared to $346 per ton last week. Price was influenced by demand coupled with record high crush volumes for three consecutive months through December. Price will fluctuate to reflect the CME price for soybeans and the rising demand for biodiesel. The market previously responded to the increased 2023 crop and higher stocks together with projections for 2024 included in the February WASDE Report.

 

 WTI was 2.9 percent higher from last week to $76.28 on February 14th attributed to lower demand in relation to supply. The rise in price is partly attributable to disruption of shipping in the Red Sea, turbulence in the Middle East but countered by U.S. production and reserves. The upward trajectory in price may continue if production cuts by OPEC become a reality, although Angola has withdrawn from the cartel. There was more extreme daily fluctuation in price during the week ($72.23 to $77.56 range) with an upward trend. Crude oil inventory in the U.S., other than the Strategic Reserve, was up 2.5 percent to 28.8 million barrels last week following the seasonal trend.  The U.s.is now producing 13 billion barrels of crude each day, restraining domestic and international prices

 

Factors influencing commodity prices in either direction over the past four weeks included:-

  • Weather conditions in areas of the World growing corn and oilseeds especially in Brazil and also Argentine with favorable rain recently under the influence of a strong El Nino event. This in part compensated for the severe decline in yields that will be harvested from Mato Grosso State. The 2023 U.S. harvest was completed ahead of the corresponding weeks in 2022 with higher carryover (downward pressure).

 

  • Geopolitical considerations continue to move markets, especially in the Mideast. Cancellation of the BSGI in July and ongoing attacks on Ukraine port facilities impacted prices of wheat, corn, oilseeds and vegetable oils. Loaded bulk vessels are sailing from Black Sea and Danube River ports using the ‘Humanitarian Corridor” to various destinations. This route is operational despite threats by the Russian Federation to mine the entrance to ports and deploy airborne missiles.  Exports from Ukraine are approaching 1 million metric tons per week with a total of 15 million metric tons market year to date. Grain production in Ukraine during the current year will be lower than 2021/2022 (Downward pressure on corn and wheat and an indirect effect on soybeans)

 

  • Macroeconomic U.S. factors:-
  • Most economists in academia and the private sector are confident of a “soft landing” for the economy following the release of revised Q4 2023 GDP and recent releases of economic parameters including the CPI and anticipated PPI and a decline in bond rates. Annual inflation as measured by CPI declined from 8.9 percent in June 2022 to 3.1 percent in January 2024. This is in part a response to a series of 11 FOMC rate raises that curbed inflation and cooled the labor market but without precipitating unemployment. There is evident stability in the bank sectors in both the U.S. and Europe. Large U.S. banks passed stringent mid-year “stress tests”. There is now concern over regional banks with exposure to commercial real estate.
  • The Federal Reserve held the benchmark interest rate steady at the monthly FOMC meeting on January 31st 2024, the fourth sequential pause.  The Federal Reserve commentary indicated that the rate would be held at 5.25 percent until a pivot with possibly two to three reductions of 25 basis points each in 2024, after the April meeting at the earliest. Chairman Powell in Congressional testimony and documented in FOMC minutes has indicated that decisions would be based on data and progress in reducing inflation to achieve an annual 2.0 percent target by mid-2025.
  • The January 25th announcement of the advanced estimate of Q4 GDP confirmed a value of 3.3 percent, above the consensus estimate of 2.0 percent. The rise was attributed to increased consumer and government sector spending and investment in inventory. In 2023 real GDP growth should have attained 2.5 percent.
  • The February 8th 2024 S&P Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index Report (PMI) rose to 51.8 in January from 51.0 in December 2023. The PMI is approximately three percent below the 10-year average preceding the COVID years. The recent upward trend suggests recovery from the effects of successive raises in the Federal reserve benchmark interest rate.
  • On January 26th The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the December Personal Consumption and Expenditure Price Index  (excluding food and energy) that was up 0.3 percent from the previous month. The Index was up 2.6 percent year-over-year. This parameter is closely followed by the Federal Reserve and confirms declining inflation.
  • The February 13th Bureau of Labor Statistics release of the January 2024 CPI confirmed a 0.3 percent increase from December 2023. The annual increase of 3.1 percent was down from 3.4 percent in December but higher than the anticipated value of 2.9 percent. The increase in the core value (excluding food and energy) was 0.4 percent, and 3.9 percent for the 12-month period, in line with estimates.  Food at home was up 0.4 percent from the previous month. Food away from home was up 0.5 percent from December.  On an annual basis all food was up 2.6 percent with food at home up 1.2 percent and food away from home up 5.1 percent. Energy was down 0.9 percent in January and down 4.6 percent over 12-months, mainly due to a decline in gasoline (-6.4 percent) and fuel oils (-14.2 percent). The shelter category was up 0.6 percent for the month and 6.0 percent over the past year. The macro trend is clearly towards reduced inflation due to a fall in energy prices. The CPI influences FOMC rate decisions
  • The December Producer Price Index for Final Demand (PPI) released on January 12th was down 0.1 percent from November and up 1.0 percent over the past 12-months. This is compared to a 6.4 percent increase in 2022. The reduction was attributed mainly to 0.4 percent decline in final demand for goods and the concurrent cost of energy. The core PPI value excluding volatile fuel and food, was up 0.2 percent for the month and up 2.5 percent from December 2022. Food was down 0.9 percent compared to a 0.7 percent increase in November and 2.9 percent over 12-months.
  • A Federal Reserve release on February 15th confirmed that industrial production fell 0.5 percent in January against a projection of a 0.1 percent rise in December. Production was adversely affected by inclement weather during January 2024 with plant closures. Capacity utilization was down 0.2 percent to 78.5 percent, 1.1 percent below the 1972-2020 average.
  • According to the January 25th release by the U.S. Census Bureau the Manufacturers’, Shipments, Inventories and Orders (M3) Survey, determined that new orders during December were unchanged from November that in turn was up 5.5 percent from the previous month
  • The January 25th report on Durable Goods Orders for December 2023 was unchanged from November against an expectation of a 1.1 percent rise over the month.
  • The February 15th release of retail sales data showed a monthly fall of 0.8 percent in January against an expected 0.1 percent decline. This value is compared to the revised 0.4 percent rise in December 2023. Core retail sales increased 0.6 percent in January. Retail sales in January were affected by harsh winter storms and a change in the basis of calculation. The Federal Reserve FOMC closely monitors this index as a measure of the trend in inflation.
  • The February 1st ISM® Manufacturing Index for January rose to 49.1 from 47.4 in December.
  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index released on January 30th for December/January, rose to 114.8 points, a six-month high. This reading was above the consensus of 104.0 and up from a revised 108.0 for the preceding four-week period.
  • The February 2nd University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment rose to 78.8 for January up from a revised 69.7 in December. Both the Current Economic Index (79.0 up from 69.7 in December) and the Index of Consumer Expectations (77.1 up from 67.4 in December) denote an increase in consumer sentiment influenced by lower interest rates and moderating inflation despite geopolitical concerns.
  • Non-farm payrolls increased by 353,000 for January, as documented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on February 8th. This was 6.0 percent higher than the revised December value. The increase is attributed to workers in the business, health care and services industries but a decline in the energy sector. The unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent for the third consecutive month. Real average weekly earnings for January showed a 0.6 percent increase over December.  Average hourly earnings rose 0.6 percent to $34.55 in January up 4.5 percent over 12 months. Wage rates are closely followed by the Federal Reserve.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Survey report released on January 30th estimated 9.0 million job openings in December, unchanged from November and consistent with estimates. The December job openings number was the lowest value in 32 months.
  • Seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims released on February 15th fell to 212,000 for the week ending February 10th, down 6,000 from the revised value for the previous week and lower than the Reuters estimate of 220,000. The four-week moving average advanced 5,750 to  218,500 The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 1.90 million continuing claims for the week ending February 3rd. There is evidence from data over the past three months that the labor market is cooling
  • The February 1st Bureau of Labor Statistics report recorded a 3.2 percent increase in non-Farm Productivity for Q4; Unit Labor Cost was up by 0.4 percent on a normalized basis and Hours Worked was up by 0.4 percent in Q4
  • The ADP® reported on January 31st that private payrolls increased by 107,000 in January, down 51,000 from the revised 155,000 in December and compared to the Reuters estimate of 145,000 jobs. The increase in employment was mostly in the service sector. Annual pay was up 5.2 percent year-over-year. The increase will not directly influence the probability of short-term future changes in interest rate since the ADP® is regarded by the FOMC as an unreliable statistic

 

FACTORS INFLUENCING COMMODITY PRICES

 

  • The 2023 harvests of corn and soybeans were completed by late November 2023. The February 8th WASDE provided a projection for acreage to be planted, yields, crop size and ending stocks for the 2024 crop.
  • It is evident that both polarization in the closely divided chambers of Congress and intra-party conflict between and among both sides of the aisle in the House will delay adoption of appropriations bills. Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill will be contentious and is subject to a 12-month extension as a stop-gap measure. Progress on the 2023 Farm Bill has been impeded by contention over SNAP eligibility and other entitlements that collectively represent 75 percent of total expenditure. The August 2nd downgrade of U.S. debt from AAA to AA+ by Fitch Ratings recognizes Congressional dysfunction. On November 10th 2023 Moody’s downgraded U.S. credibility from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ based on an inability to pass required fiscal legislation. The House failed to pass eleven appropriations bills and passed an 11th hour continuing resolution deferring action to November 17th to finance the Federal government. Again failure to enact appropriations bills resulted in a second continuing resolution on November 15th freezing spending at FY 2013 levels pending votes on appropriations with extended deadlines of January 19th and February 2nd 2024. Little progress occurred in the closely divided House under current leadership with distraction caused by peripheral issues including dissention over the border situation, foreign aid and the magnitude of the National Debt. A third continuing resolution was passed on January 18th extending the laddered deadlines to March 1st and 8th respectively. A Federal shutdown would impact both equity and commodity markets and the image of the U.S. governmental system.
  • The delayed 2023 Farm Bill is mired in conflict in both the House and Senate. There is no consensus on major issues comprising the magnitude of SNAP payments and eligibility and requested price supports for crops.
  • The February 8th WASDE #645 Projected both corn and soybean production parameters with a potential record corn harvest for the 2024 crop. There will be ample world availability of ingredients although inequitable distribution will result in shortages in some nations. Soybean exports will comprise 39 percent of the 2024 U.S. crop with a 12.5 percent increase in ending stock.  (See WASDE Report in this edition confirming availability, use and ex-farm price projections)
  • There is an expectation that for market-year 2023-2024, Brazil will harvest 155 million metric tons  (5,695 million bushels) of soybeans up from a previous estimate of 153 million metric tons (5,621 million bushels) This shortfall is attributed to transient drought in Mato Grosso state. Exports of 100 million metric tons (3,674 million bushels) are anticipated and Brazil will crush 56 million metric tons (2,057 million bushels). A corn harvest of 118 million metric tons (4.666 million bushels) is anticipated with export of 54 million metric tons (2,125 million bushels). (Lower prices in the future subject to favorable reports on crop progress and actual harvests)
  • The Dollar Index (DXY) was 104.7 on February 4th, up 0.7 points from last week and a three-month high with fluctuation following uncertainty over future interest rates with a delay in the anticipated pivot by the Federal Reserve FOCM. The DXY has ranged from 99.9 to 107.0 over the past 52 weeks. The dollar index influences timing and volume of export orders and indirectly the price of WTI crude.

 

EXPORTS

 

The FAS Export Report for corn, released on February 15th for the week ending February 8th confirmed that outstanding export orders for corn amounted to 18.26 million metric tons (718.36 million bushels). Net orders for the past week for the 2023-2024 market year amounted to 1.31 million metric tons (51.44 million bushels). Shipments recorded during the past working week amounted to 0.90 million metric tons (35.50 million bushels). For the current market year to date cumulative export of 17.90 million metric tons (706.01 million bushels) is 31.4 percent higher compared to the equivalent week of the previous market year. For market year 2024-2025 outstanding orders attained 1.28 million metric tons (50.18 million bushels) with 2,300 metric tons (90,528 bushels) this past week

(Conversion 39.36 bushels per metric ton.  Quantities in metric tons rounded to 0.1 million)

 

The FAS Export Report for soybeans covering the week ending February 8th reflecting market year 2023-2024, recorded outstanding export orders amounting to 8.40 million metric tons (308.76 million bushels). Net orders this past week attained 0.35 million metric tons (13.00 million bushels).  Shipments for the past working week attained 1.45 million metric tons (53.42 million bushels). For the current market year to date cumulative exports of 30.40 million metric tons (1,117 million bushels) are 22.1 percent lower compared to the equivalent week of the previous market year.  Outstanding orders for the 2024-2025 market year amount to 189,800 metric tons  (6.97 million bushels) with 24,000 tons (881,760 bushels)  ordered this past week.

 (Conversion 36.74 bushels per metric ton)


 


Egg Week

02/14/2024

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, February 14th 2024.

 

Market Overview

  • The average wholesale unit revenue values for Midwest Extra-large and Large sizes were up 9.6 percent on average this past week. Mediums were up 0.9 percent. Prices were approximately $1.00 per dozen above the 3-year average for mid-February despite the extremely high comparison values in early 2023 following depletion of flocks and unprecedented demand. This past week shell egg inventory was up by 2.0 percent, following a rise of 5.8 percent the previous week. Supply is lower despite routine and progressive weekly increases in pullet flocks placed. Hen numbers are offset by the loss of close to thirteen million hens due to HPAI on twelve complexes holding from 250,000 to 2.6 million hens during the 4th Quarter of 2023. Flocks are gradually being replaced although pullets are in short supply with losses in this category of stock. This past week, chains widened the spread between delivered cost and shelf price. This could result in a potential decrease in generic stock unless compensated by a proportional rise in demand and constant re-ordering to fill the pipeline through mid -month. Discounters are holding prices on generics influencing mainstream retail stores. Eggs are still highly competitive in price against the comparable costs for other protein foods.
  • Total industry inventory was up by 0.5 percent overall this past week to 1.52 million cases with a concurrent 5.3 percent decrease in breaking stock, following a 3.9 percent rise during the preceding processing week. Demand for egg products will presumably increase in the weeks preceding Easter (March 29th Good Friday) with more home baking and entertaining. Egg products are required for the food service and manufacturing sectors although exports are at a moderate to low level attributed to domestic price. USDA Benchmark prices were approximately $0.30 per dozen higher than the previously exceptional but rapidly falling prices during the corresponding week in 2023, influenced by HPAI flock depletions and accompanied by high demand.
  • It is now apparent that the inventory held by chains and other significant distributors may be more important over the short term in establishing wholesale price compared to the USDA regional inventory figures. Changes in stock held by DCs and in the pipeline as determined by weekly orders are probably responsible for cyclic fluctuation in weekly industry stock, especially after a holiday weekend.
  • Cases of HPAI in the commercial poultry industry and backyard (non-commercial WOAH) flocks have tapered, coincident with the end of the Fall migration of waterfowl that was extended in late 2023 by mild weather. The number and extent of future possible outbreaks during the early winter of 2024 cannot be projected but the epornitic appears to be over with migratory birds moving southward following colder weather. More surveillance information should be released by USDA-APHIS concerning the prevalence rate of carriers among migratory and permanent-resident domestic free-living birds and a review of molecular and field epidemiology for the 2022 spring and fall waves of HPAI. The USDA has yet to identify specific modes of transmission for the 2022-2023 epornitic including likely airborne spread from wild birds and their excreta over short distances.
  • The current relationship between producers and chain buyers based on a single commercial price discovery system constitutes an impediment to a free market. The benchmark price appears to amplify both downward and upward swings as evidenced over the past two years. A CME quotation based on Midwest Large, reflecting demand relative to supply would be more equitable. If feed cost is determined by CME ingredient prices then generic shell eggs should be subject to a Midwest Large quotation.
  • According to the USDA the U.S. flock in production was down by 0.8 million hens (0.26 percent) incorporating the recent delayed adjustment of HPAI depopulation representing 3.4 percent of the producing flock to a new level of 304.2 million for the week ending February 14th The stated total flock of 309.8 million included about two million molted hens that will resume lay during coming weeks plus 5.0 million pullets scheduled to attain production. Given the latest figures it is estimated that the producing flock is at least 13 to 15 million hens lower than before the onset of HPAI in 2022. It is evident that USDA has now provided a more realistic figure of flock size having adjusted figures to account for depopulation of 13 million hens spread over the last quarter of 2023. There were evident discrepancies between published figures and the theoretical number of hens taking into account known losses and predetermined pullet replacements.
  • The ex-farm price for breaking stock was up 2.8 percent to $1.67 per dozen.Checks delivered to Midwest plants were 4.9 percent higher to $1.51 per dozen over the past week. Prices for breaking stock should follow the wholesale price for shell eggs but with a lag of about one to three weeks.

 

The Week in Review

 

Prices

 

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports released on February 12th 2024, the Midwest wholesale price (rounded to one cent) for Extra-large was up 9.5 percent from last week to $3.22 per dozen. Large was up 9.6 percent to $3.20 cents per dozen. Mediums were up 0.9 percent to $2.15 per dozen delivered to DCs. Prices should be compared to the USDA benchmark average 6-Region blended nest-run cost of 80.9 cents per dozen as determined by the Egg Industry Center based on USDA data for December 2023. This value excludes provisions for packing, packaging materials and transport, amounting to 57 cents per dozen as determined in mid-2023 from an EIC survey (with low response) and now realistically 60 cents per dozen. The January release by the EIC is delayed for adjustment of values.

 

Currently producers of generic shell eggs should be operating with positive margins irrespective of region and customer-supply agreements. The progression of prices during 2023 and 2024 to date is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

 

The February 12th edition of the USDA Egg Market News Report confirmed that the USDA Combined Region value (rounded to the nearest cent), was up 23.3 percent to $3.01 per dozen delivered to warehouses for the week ending February 7th 2024. This average price lags current benchmark Midwest weekly values by one week. The USDA Combined range for Large in the Midwest was $2.92 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the South Central region attained $3.08 per dozen. The USDA Combined Price last week was approximately $1.00 per dozen above the 3-year average of $2.00 per dozen. This past week Midwest Large was approximately $0.30 per dozen above the corresponding week in 2023 that was sharply lower at $2.70 per dozen as production recovered from HPAI depletion and with declining market demand.

 

Flock Size 

 

Previously EGG-NEWS questioned the accuracy of the weekly values for total and producing flocks. The number of replacement pullets based on actual hatch figures 20 to 22 weeks previously and the number of hens depleted as a result of HPAI are firm. Since the difference between the total and producing flocks was uniformly constant until five weeks ago the loss of approximately 13 million hens due to HPAI over twelve weeks was not reflected in weekly USDA figures. The USDA has now adjusted data to reflect losses due to HPAI depopulation in recent weekly reports.

 

Given the importance of weekly flock numbers to pricing accurate values of flock size devoid of obvious discrepancies are required by producers.

 

According to the USDA the number of producing hens reflecting February 14th 2024 (rounded to 0.1 million) was apparently down 0.8 million as an adjustment from last week to 304.2 million. The total U.S. flock includes about one million molted hens due to return to production with approximately 5.0 million new pullets on average reaching maturity each week is based on USDA monthly chick-hatch data for 20-weeks previously. The increase is offset by routine flock depletion in addition to residual losses during the Fall phase of the 2022 HPAI epornitic and an additional loss of approximately 13 million hens during the last quarter of 2023. Some flocks have been replaced. Based on inventory level and prices, the population of hens producing table eggs and breaking stock should now be producing below seasonal demand by consumers. Industrial and food service off-take although increasing, is approaching pre-COVID levels. Prices will continue to fluctuate but commenced a seasonal albeit late rise in price two weeks ago.


 


Egg Exports

02/11/2024

Export of Shell Eggs and Products, 2023

 

Exports of shell eggs during the 12-month period commencing March 2022 were constrained by availability due to progressive and cumulative depletion of 44 million hens as a result of HPAI divided among spring and fall waves. The national flock was about 20 million hens lower than the pre-HPAI complement on an average weekly basis during 2022. Sharp rises in price as a result of supply-demand disequilibrium made U.S. export prices non-competitive as denoted by lower volumes over successive months from March 2022. Egg products were also impacted but to a lesser extent than shell eggs. During June 2023 shell and product exports combined represented 2.5 percent of total production, more than double the volume recorded in January 2023 but exports declined in July to 1.9 percent of production by U.S. flocks. At the present time the national flock is approximately 12 million hens lower than pre-HPAI levels with rising prices that will constrain exports. Combined shell and product exports in November represented 2.0 percent of the output of the national flock. It is questioned whether lost markets other than the USMCA and Caribbean nations will be reclaimed over the intermediate term. Sporadic and short-term exports may be made to various nations based on supply disruption caused by HPAI.

 

USDA-FAS data collated by USAPEEC, reflecting export volume and values for shell eggs and egg products are shown in the table below comparing 2023 with 2022:-

 

PRODUCT

2022

2023

Difference

Shell Eggs

     

Volume (m. dozen)

69.5

89.4

+19.9 ( +28.6%)

Value ($ million)

150.9

162.2

+11.3 ( +7.5%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)

2.17

1.81

-36.0 ( -16.6%)

Egg Products

     

Volume (metric tons)

25,233

29,814

 +4,581 (+18.2%)

Value ($ million)

115.5

134.3

+18.8 (+16.3%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)

4,577

4,505

-72 (-1.6%)

 

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

2022 COMPARED WITH 2023

 

SHELL EGGS

 

Shell egg exports from the U.S. during 2023 increased by 19.9 percent in volume and gained 7.5 percent in total value compared to 2022. Unit value declined 16.6 percent to $1.81 per dozen compared to the corresponding month in 2022. For December 2023 volume was up 17.9 percent to 7.9 million dozen but value was down by 51.1 percent to $14.3 million compared to December 2022 and with a unit value of $1.81 per dozen.

 

Canada was the leading importer of shell eggs during 2023, with 46.3 million dozen representing 51.8 percent of volume and 59.0 percent of the $162.2 million total value of U.S. shipments of shell eggs. Unit price in 2023 was $2.07 per dozen compared to $2.80 per dozen for 31.8 million dozen exported during 2022. During December 2023 first-ranked Canada with 5.1 million dozen represented 64.5 percent of U.S. shell egg exports of 5.1 million dozen and 62.9 percent of the total value amounting to $9.0 million. Volume was unchanged but value was 64.0 percent lower than corresponding figures for December 2022. Imports by Canada were driven by increased consumer demand coupled with depletion of some domestic flocks due to HPAI. The controlled supply situation in Canada inhibits flexibility necessitating imports from the U.S. to balance availability with demand.

 

Mexico was the second-ranked importer of shell eggs over 2023 with a volume of 15.0 million dozen representing 16.8 percent of export volume and 10.7 percent of value. This discrepancy was due to a low unit value of $1.16 per dozen compared to an average value of $1.81 per dozen for all exports. During December, Mexico imported 0.6 million dozen with a value of $0.9 million at a unit price of $1.50 per dozen. Mexico represented 7.6 percent of volume and 6.3 percent of value of shell egg exports during the month.


 


Commodity Report

02/08/2024

WEEKLY ECONOMY, ENERGY AND COMMODITY REPORT: February 8th 2024.

 

OVERVIEW

Prices for feed ingredients were down over the week partly in anticipation of the February WASDE Report. Prices were influenced by short covering arising from geopolitical concerns and the reality of bountiful harvests from Brazil and Argentine. Secondary factors included disruption in shipping in the Red Sea and Panama Canal, carryover from the 2023 U.S. crop, export orders and predicted ending stocks of corn and soybeans for 2024.

 

At 14H00 on February 8th the CME price for corn was down 3.4 percent compared to the previous week to 431 cents per bushel for March delivery. Corn price was influenced by increased ethanol demand and the size of the 2023 crop with proportionally high ending stock. Export orders for the current market year have increased in response to lower prices. Volumes and prices are indirectly influenced by events in the Black and Red Seas. Orders by China resumed at the end of the 2022-2023 market-year and have extended into February with an elevated dollar Index offset by low FOB prices. Total exports for the current market year are 30.9 percent higher than for the corresponding week in the 2022-2023 year.

 

Soybeans were down 1.4 percent from last week to 1,187 cents per bushel for March 2024 delivery. Gains were attributed to short covering. Total exports for the current market year are 22.1 percent lower than for the corresponding week in the 2022-2023 year.

 

Soybean meal was down a substantial 4.7 percent to $346 per ton for March delivery compared to $363 per ton last week. Price was influenced by demand coupled with record high crush volumes for three consecutive months through December. Price will fluctuate to reflect the CME price for soybeans and the rising demand for biodiesel. The market previously responded to the increased 2023 crop and higher stocks together with projections for 2024 included in the February WASDE Report.

 

WTI was 3.0 percent lower from last week to $74.13 on February 7th attributed to lower demand in relation to supply. The decline in price is despite disruption of shipping in the Red Sea, turbulence in the Middle East and stable U.S. reserves. The downward trajectory in price may be transitory if production cuts by OPEC become a reality, although Angola withdrew from the cartel. There was minor fluctuation in price during the week ($72.72 to $74.13 range). Crude oil inventory in the U.S., other than the Strategic Reserve, was almost unchanged at 28.1 million barrels last week following the seasonal trend.

 

Factors influencing commodity prices in either direction over the past four weeks included:-

  • Weather conditions in areas of the World growing corn and oilseeds especially in Brazil and also Argentine with favorable rain recently under the influence of a strong El Nino This in part compensated for the severe decline in yields that will be harvested from Mato Grosso State. The 2023 U.S. harvest was completed ahead of the corresponding weeks in 2022 with higher carryover (downward pressure).
  • Geopolitical considerations continue to move markets, especially in the Mideast. Cancellation of the BSGI in July and ongoing attacks on Ukraine port facilities impacted prices of wheat, corn, oilseeds and vegetable oils. Loaded bulk vessels are sailing from Black Sea and Danube River ports using the ‘Humanitarian Corridor” to various destinations. This route is operational despite threats by the Russian Federation to mine the entrance to ports and deploy airborne missiles. Exports from Ukraine are approaching 1 million metric tons per week with a total of 15 million metric tons market year to date. Grain production in Ukraine during the current year will be lower than 2021/2022 (Downward pressure on corn and wheat and an indirect effect on soybeans)
  • Macroeconomic U.S. factors:-
  • Most economists in academia and the private sector are confident of a “soft landing” for the economy following the release of revised Q4 2023 GDP and recent releases of economic parameters including the CPI and PPI and a decline in bond rates. Annual inflation as measured by CPI declined from 8.9 percent in June 2022 to 3.4 percent in December 2023. This is in part a response to a series of 11 FOMC rate raises that curbed inflation and cooled the labor market but without precipitating unemployment. There is evident stability in the bank sectors in both the U.S. and Europe. Large U.S. banks passed stringent mid-year “stress tests”. There is now concern over regional banks with exposure to commercial real estate.
  • The Federal Reserve held the benchmark interest rate steady at the monthly FOMC meeting on January 31st 2024, the fourth sequential pause. The Federal Reserve commentary indicated that the rate would be held at 5.25 percent until a pivot with possibly three reductions of 25 basis points each in 2024, after the March meeting at the earliest. Chairman Powell in Congressional testimony and documented in FOMC minutes has indicated that decisions would be based on data and progress in reducing inflation to near an annual 2.0 percent target by mid-2025.
  • The January 25th announcement of the advanced estimate of Q4 GDP confirmed a value of 3.3 percent, above the consensus estimate of 2.0 percent. The rise was attributed to increased consumer and government sector spending and investment in inventory. In 2023 real GDP growth should have attained 2.5 percent.
  • The February 8th 2024 S&P Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index Report (PMI) rose to 51.8 in January from 51.0 in December 2023. The PMI is approximately three percent below the 10-year average preceding the COVID years. The recent upward trend suggests recovery from the effects of successive raises in the Federal reserve benchmark interest rate.
  • On January 26th The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the December Personal Consumption and Expenditure Price Index (excluding food and energy) that was up 0.3 percent from the previous month. The Index was up 2.6 percent year-over-year. This parameter is closely followed by the Federal Reserve and confirms declining inflation.
  • The January 11th Bureau of Labor Statistics release of the December CPI confirmed a 0.3 percent increase from November. The annual increase of 3.4 percent was higher than the anticipated value of 3.1 percent. The increase in the core value (excluding food and energy) was 0.3 percent, and 3.9 percent for the 12-month period, in line with estimates. Food at home was up 0.1 percent from the previous month. Food away from home was up 0.3 percent from November. On an annual basis all food was up 2.7 percent with food at home up 1.3 percent and food away from home up 5.2 percent. Energy was down 0.4 percent in December and down 2.0 percent over 12-months, mainly due to a decline in gasoline and diesel fuels. The shelter category was up 0.5 percent. The macro trend is clearly towards reduced inflation due to a fall in energy prices. The CPI influences FOMC rate decisions
  • The December Producer Price Index for Final Demand (PPI) released on January 12th was down 0.1 percent from November and up 1.0 percent over the past 12-months. This is compared to a 6.4 percent increase in 2022. The reduction was attributed mainly to 0.4 percent decline in final demand for goods and the concurrent cost of energy. The core PPI value excluding volatile fuel and food, was up 0.2 percent for the month and up 2.5 percent from December 2022. Food was down 0.9 percent compared to a 0.7 percent increase in November and 2.9 percent over 12-months.
  • A Federal Reserve release on January 17th confirmed that industrial production increased 0.1 percent in December to an index of 102.5 and was up 0.1 percent over the third quarter. Capacity utilization was unchanged at 78.6 percent, 1.1 percent below the 1972-2020 average.
  • According to the January 25th release by the U.S. Census Bureau the Manufacturers’, Shipments, Inventories and Orders (M3) Survey, determined that new orders during December were unchanged from November that in turn was up 5.5 percent from the previous month
  • The January 25th report on Durable Goods Orders for December 2023 was unchanged from November against an expectation of a 1.1 percent rise over the month.
  • The January 17th release of retail sales data showed a monthly rise of 0.6 percent in December. This value was above the 0.3 percent value in November. Year-over-year core retail sales increased 3.2 percent with a 0.5percent rise in December. The Federal Reserve FOMC closely monitors this index as a measure of the trend in inflation.
  • The February 1st ISM® Manufacturing Index for January rose to 49.1 from 47.4 in December.
  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index released on January 30th for December/January, rose to 114.8 points, a six-month high. This reading was above the consensus of 104.0 and up from a revised 108.0 for the preceding four-week period.
  • The February 2nd University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment rose to 78.8 for January up from a revised 69.7 in December. Both the Current Economic Index (79.0 up from 69.7 in December) and the Index of Consumer Expectations (77.1 up from 67.4 in December) denote an increase in consumer sentiment influenced by lower interest rates and moderating inflation despite geopolitical concerns.
  • Non-farm payrolls increased by 353,000 for January, as documented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on February 8th. This was 6.0 percent higher than the revised December value. The increase is attributed to workers in the business, health care and services industries but a decline in the energy sector. The unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent for the third consecutive month. Real average weekly earnings for January showed a 0.6 percent increase over December. Average hourly earnings rose 0.6 percent to $34.55 in January up 4.5 percent over 12 months. Wage rates are closely followed by the Federal Reserve.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Survey report released on January 30th estimated 9.0 million job openings in December, unchanged from November and consistent with estimates. The December job openings number was the lowest value in 32 months.
  • Seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims released on February 8th fell to 218,000 for the week ending February 3rd, down 9,000 from the revised value for the previous week and lower than the Reuters estimate of 220,000. The four-week moving average amounted to 212,250 The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 1.87 million continuing claims for the week ending January 28th. There is evidence from data over the past three months that the labor market is cooling
  • The February 1st Bureau of Labor Statistics report recorded a 3.2 percent increase in non-Farm Productivity for Q4; Unit Labor Cost was up by 0.4 percent on a normalized basis and Hours Worked was up by 0.4 percent in Q4
  • The ADP® reported on January 31st that private payrolls increased by 107,000 in January, down 51,000 from the revised 155,000 in December and compared to the Reuters estimate of 145,000 jobs. The increase in employment was mostly in the service sector. Annual pay was up 5.2 percent year-over-year. The increase will not directly influence the probability of short-term future changes in interest rate since the ADP® is regarded by the FOMC as an unreliable statistic

 

FACTORS INFLUENCING COMMODITY PRICES

  • The 2023 harvests of corn and soybeans were completed by late November 2023. The February 8th WASDE provided a projection for acreage to be planted, yields, crop size and ending stocks for the 2024 crop.
  • It is evident that both polarization in the closely divided chambers of Congress and intra-party conflict between and among both sides of the aisle in the House will delay adoption of appropriations bills. Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill will be contentious and is subject to a 12-month extension as a stop-gap measure. Progress on the 2023 Farm Bill has been impeded by contention over SNAP eligibility and other entitlements that collectively represent 75 percent of total expenditure. The August 2nd downgrade of U.S. debt from AAA to AA+ by Fitch Ratings recognizes Congressional dysfunction. On November 10th 2023 Moody’s downgraded U.S. credibility from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ based on an inability to pass required fiscal legislation. The House failed to pass eleven appropriations bills and passed an 11th hour continuing resolution deferring action to November 17th to finance the Federal government. Again failure to enact appropriations bills resulted in a second continuing resolution on November 15th freezing spending at FY 2013 levels pending votes on appropriations with extended deadlines of January 19th and February 2nd Little progress occurred in the closely divided House under current leadership with distraction caused by peripheral issues including dissention over the border situation, foreign aid and the magnitude of the National Debt. A third continuing resolution was passed on January 18th extending the laddered deadlines to March 1st and 8th respectively. A Federal shutdown would impact both equity and commodity markets and the image of the U.S. governmental system.
  • The delayed 2023 Farm Bill is mired in conflict in both the House and Senate. There is no consensus on major issues comprising the magnitude of SNAP payments and eligibility and price supports for crops.
  • The February 8th WASDE #645 Projected both corn and soybean production parameters with a potential record corn harvest for the 2024 crop. There will be ample world availability of ingredients although inequitable distribution will result in shortages in some nations. Soybean exports will comprise 39 percent of the 2024 U.S. crop with a 12.5 percent increase in ending stock. (See WASDE Report in this edition confirming availability, use and ex-farm price projections)
  • There is an expectation that for market-year 2023-2024, Brazil will harvest 155 million metric tons (5,695 million bushels) of soybeans up from a previous estimate of 153 million metric tons (5,621 million bushels) This shortfall is attributed to transient drought in Mato Grosso state. Exports of 100 million metric tons (3,674 million bushels) are anticipated and Brazil will crush 56 million metric tons (2,057 million bushels). A corn harvest of 118 million metric tons (4.666 million bushels) is anticipated with export of 54 million metric tons (2,125 million bushels). (Lower prices in the future subject to favorable reports on crop progress and actual harvests)
  • The Dollar Index (DXY) was 104.0 on February 7th, up 0.5 points from last week with fluctuation following uncertainty over future interest rates with a delay in the anticipated pivot by the Federal Reserve FOCM. The DXY has ranged from 99.9 to 107.0 over the past 52 weeks. The dollar index influences timing and volume of export orders and indirectly the price of WTI crude.


 


USDA Data On Cage-Free Production For January 2024

02/01/2024

EGG-NEWS summarizes and comments on data and trends in the monthly USDA Cage-Free Report. This data is correlated and interpreted in the WeeklyEggPrice and Inventory Report posted on EGG-NEWS mailed on Fridays each week.

 

The USDA Cage-Free Report covering January 2024, released on February 1st 2024, stated the complement of hens producing under the Certified Organic Program to be 18.4 million (rounded to 0.1 million), down 0.5 percent from December 2023. The number of hens classified as cage-free (but excluding Certified Organic) and comprising aviary, barn and other systems of housing apparently declined 1.4 percent from December 2023 to 103.9 million due to depopulation for HPAI. Hen numbers posted by the USDA over the 4th quarter of 2023 are questioned based on the stated average hen-week production. The number of eggs collected is accepted as accurate but since the value for average weekly production is unacceptably high the denominator reflecting number of hens is incorrect. Alternatively if conventional eggs from cages are deceptively marketed as cage-free, assuming an accurate number of hens over a given month, the apparent hen-week value would be incorrectly high. Since the inception of the Cage-Free Report monthly figures have shown erratic fluctuation or alternatively are unchanged. Actual production of eggs is based on the reality of a continuing cycle of placing a predicted number of pullets and depletion of old hens but with limited application of molting for cage-free flocks. The respective numbers of hens claimed for organic and cage-free flocks should reflect chick placements, HPAI slaughter, age-related depletion and correspond to monthly supply data and inventory extending over successive quarters.

 

Average weekly production for Certified Organic eggs in January 2024 was down 0.2 percent compared to December 2023 with a questionable average weekly production of 84.7 percent. Average weekly flock production for cage-free flocks other than Certified Organic was down in January 2024 by 0.8 percent, also with a questionably high average hen month production of 83.4 percent. Seasonally, younger flocks increase the availability of cage-free and organic eggs in response to pullet chick placements laid down 22 weeks previously in anticipation of peak seasonal demand periods. January 2024 data may have reflected a presumed higher proportion of younger flocks derived from pullet chicks placed during July 2023. Since the proportion of pullets according to housing type is not indicated in the monthly USDA Chickens and Eggs report it is not possible to assess the relative sizes of flocks producing under the certified organic label or for other categories. This would be inadequate to explain the high production rate especially if the number of hens is higher than actual, especially with undercounted HPAI flock depopulation that appears to be the case at present.

 

Flock Size Average

(million hens)

 January

2024

Average

Q4-

2023

Average

Q3- 2023

Average

Q2 –

2023

Average

Q1 –

2023

Average

Q4 –

2022

Certified Organic

18.4

18.7

18.7

18.2

17.3

18.0

Cage-Free Hens

103.9

106.4

105.4

103.2

98.1

88.5

Total Non-Caged

122.3

125.1

124.1

121.4

115.4

106.5

 

Average Weekly Production (cases)

December

2023

January

2024

Certified Organic @ 84.7% hen/day

302,013

302,585 -0.2%

Cage-Free @ 83.4% hen/day

1,699,348

1,685,314 -0.8%

Total Non-Caged @ 83.6% hen/day

2,001,361

1,987,899 -0.7%

 

Average Nest Run Contract Price Cage-Free Brown

$1.68/doz. (Unchanged since September 2023)

January 2024 Range:

$1.35 to $2.35/doz. (unchanged since March 2023)

FOB Negotiated December price, grade-ready quality, loose nest-run. Price range $1.60 to $2.75 per dozen

Average January 2024 Value of $2.14/doz.

($1.91/doz. December 2023)

 

Average January Advertised National Retail Price C-F, Large Brown

$3.36/doz. January 2024 (6 regions)

(was $3.38 in December 2023)

USDA Based on 6 Regions, 4,460 stores

 High: $3.38/doz. (NE. 693 stores)

 Low: $2.19/doz. (NW. 25 (?) stores)

 

Negotiated nest-run grade-ready cage-free price for January 2024 averaged $2.14 per dozen, up by 12.0 percent from $1.91 per dozen in December 2023, reflecting higher demand relative to supply and an improvement over seasonal wholesale prices. The January 2024 advertised U.S. retail price for cage-free eggs over six regions (excluding AK and HI) was $3.36 per dozen down 0.6 percent from December over 4,460 stores.


 


Egg Month

01/10/2024

REVIEW OF DECEMBER 2023 EGG PRODUCTION COSTS AND STATISTICS.

 

DECEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

  • December 2023 USDA ex-farm blended USDA nest-run benchmark price was 170.4 cents per dozen, up 3.2 percent from the November 2023 value of 165.0 cents per dozen. For comparison average monthly USDA benchmark price over 2022 was 236.1 cents per dozen with a range of 191.1 cents per dozen in June to a high of 439.1 cents 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. Future nest-run and wholesale prices will be largely dependent on HPAI depletions and consumer demand in an inflationary and price conscious environment. Other considerations include diversion to shell sales from the egg-breaking sector. Fluctuation in wholesale price is attributed in part to the amplification of upward and downward swings due to the commercial benchmark price discovery system in use. Restoration of seasonal prices commenced midway through the fourth quarter of 2023 with a plateau after Christmas followed by a seasonal decline into January 2024. An unknown factor in future pricing will be the incidence and severity of highly pathogenic avian influenza that has resulted in depletion of close to 13 million hens over 12 weeks and 2.5 million pullets in five states.
  • December 2023 USDA average nest-run production cost, applying updated inputs was down 0.6 cents per dozen to 80.9 cents per dozen compared to the November 2023 value of 81.5 cents per dozen, mainly attributable to a 1.4 percent lower average feed cost per dozen. Approximately 60 cents per dozen should be added to the USDA benchmark nest-run cost to cover processing, packing material and transport to establish a realistic price as delivered to warehouses.
  • December 2023 USDA benchmark nest-run margin attained a positive value of 89.5 cents per dozen compared to a positive margin of 83.5 cents per dozen for November 2023. Average nest-run monthly margin over 2022 was 155 cents per dozen, mainly due to higher prices following HPAI-depletion of flocks. It is emphasized that the U.S. benchmark price reflects nest-run eggs.
  • The December 2023 national flock in production (over 30,000 hens per farm) was stated by the USDA to be down 0.1 percent or 0.2 million hens (rounded) to 305.8 compared to the revised November 2023 value of 306.0 million. This figure does not apparently take into account depletion of 4.2million hens during the month. Approximately 3.5 million hens returned to production from molt in November together with projected maturation of 22.0 million pullets, with this number offset by depletion of spent flocks. During the fourth quarter of 2023 approximately 13 million hens were depopulated due to HPAI in five states.
  • November 2023 pullet chick hatch of 24.0 million was down 5.9 percent or 1.5 million from October
  • November 2023 exports of shell eggs and products combined was down 16.6 percent from October 2023 to 436,000 case equivalents representing the theoretical production of 5.8 million hens.

TABLES SHOWING KEY PARAMETERS FOR DECEMBER 2023.

 

Summary tables for the latest USDA December 2023 prices and flock statistics made available by the EIC on January 10th 2023 are arranged, summarized, tabulated and compared with values from the previous December 7th 2023 posting reflecting November 2023 costs and production data as applicable. Monthly comparisons of production data and costs are based on revised USDA values.

 

COSTS & REVENUE

Parameter

NOVEMBER 2023

 DECEMBER 2023

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

81.5 c/doz

80.9 c/doz

Low

77.5c/doz (MW)

76.6 c/doz (MW)

High

90.8 c/doz (N.West)

90.5c/doz (N.West)


 


Egg Projection

12/15/2023

Updated December 2023 USDA Projection for U.S. Egg Production and Consumption. 

 

On December 14th the USDA Economic Research Service issued updated values for egg production during 2022 with a projection for 2023 and a forecast for 2024. Production, consumption and prices were only slightly revised from the previous November16th 2023 report.

 

Projected egg production for 2023 was unchanged from the November Report at 7,885 million dozen This will be 1.3 percent higher than in 2022 due to replacement of a proportion of the 44 million hens depleted due to HPAI over the period extending from early spring through mid-December 2022. The per capita consumption of shell eggs and liquids combined for 2023 will be 0.1 percent higher than in the November report to 280.8 eggs but up 1.8 eggs (0.7 percent) from 2022. The projected average 2023 benchmark New York bulk unit price was increased by 3.2 percent from November to 189 cents per dozen. This was 33.0 percent lower than in 2022 attributed to a comparison with unseasonal high prices from the end of March through the 2nd Quarter of 2023.

 

Subsequent USDA projections will provide greater clarity on the recovery in consumption in an economy that is impacted by moderating inflation. The 2023 Midwest in-carton wholesale price peaked at $5.17 per dozen on January 3rd 2023 but fell precipitously to a market bottom of  $0.78 per dozen on May 8th attaining $1.97 on December 8th This was above the USDA/EIC projection of the combined nest run November cost of 81.5 cents per dozen plus processing, packaging and transport of 60 cents per dozen amounting to $1.42 cents per dozen delivered to a distribution center.

 

Restoration in flock size after HPAI depletions in 2022 is progressing at a rate of approximately 0.4 million per week but limited by the availability of pullet chicks for replacement and in some companies the rate of conversion to alternative housing systems. Restoration of the national flock is now compromised by a resurgence of HPAI with 10.6 million layers depleted  (3.3 percent of the producing flock of 325 million) involving complexes averaging over 1 million hens. The cost of ingredients will influence margins and may result in cessation of production by some small-scale producers that run out of working capital since financial losses were incurred through summer up to mid-fall. Unpredictable factors affecting price will include the extent of losses during the fourth quarter of 2023 and into 2024 due to a reemergence of avian influenza; the supply and cost of ingredients as influenced by world and national availability; exports of eggs and products and the intensity and persistence of domestic consumer demand.

 

The forecast for 2024 includes a production of 8,080 million dozen, up 2.5 percent from 2023. Consumption will attain 286.9 per capita, up a speculative 6.1 eggs or 2.2 percent above the projection for 2023. This will naturally depress prices with the NY-Large price dropping by 39 cents per dozen or 20.6 percent from the average for 2023.

 

In 2022 egg exports as shell and products combined attained 226.5 million dozen shell-equivalents, or 4.3 percent of production, down 42.2 percent from 392.0 million dozen or 4.9 percent of production in 2021. During 2022 egg imports as a result of HPAI depopulation, some in shell form but predominantly products, attained 25.9 million dozen shell-equivalents, up 42.8 percent from 14.9 million dozen or 26.4 percent from 2021.

 

Over the first ten months of 2023 shell egg exports attained 75.4 million dozen, up 31.6 percent compared to the corresponding ten months of 2022 when high prices prevailed. Egg products were up 21.8 percent to 25,027 metric tons compared to the same period in 2022. Over the first ten months of 2023 exports of shell eggs and products combined represented 2.2 percent of U.S. production

 

October 2023 USDA data is shown in the table below:-

 

 

Parameter

2020

(actual)

2021

(actual)

2022

(actual)

HPAI

2023

(projection)

 

2024

(forecast)

% Difference

2022-2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production (m. dozen)

8,070

8,031

7,781

7,885

8,080

     +1.3

Consumption (eggs per capita)

279.0

282.5

279.0

280.8

286.9

     +0.7

New York price c/doz.)

   112

119

   282

189

150

     -32.9

 

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook released December 14th 2023

 

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.


 

USDA Agricultural Prices Report

11/17/2023

THE USDA Agricultural Prices Report released October 31st posted September prices for agricultural commodities and expenditures.

 

September Prices Received Index, down 2.9 percent from August

 

 The USDA ERS summarized prices as follows:-“The September Prices Received Index 2011 Base (Agricultural Production), at 122.6, decreased 2.9 percent from August and 7.1 percent from September 2022. At 113.9, the Crop Production Index was down 4.2 percent from last month and 11 percent from the previous year. The Livestock Production Index, at 133.1, decreased 0.9 percent from August, and 2.6 percent from September last year. Producers received lower prices for corn, hogs, soybeans, and lettuce during September, but higher prices for broilers, milk, grapes, and broccoli. In addition to prices, the volume change of commodities marketed also influences the indexes. In September, there was decreased marketing of cattle, wheat, cotton, and peaches and increased monthly movement for soybeans, corn, dry beans, and apples”.

September Prices Paid Index, Up 0.1 Percent from August

 

“The September Prices Paid Index for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW), at 138.8, is up 0.1 percent from August 2023 but unchanged from September 2022. Higher prices in September for feeder cattle, feeder pigs, diesel, and nitrogen more than offset lower prices for feed grains, complete feeds, concentrates, and hay & forages”.

 

Corn farmers received $5.21 per bushel in September 2023 compared to $5.73 per bushel in August 2023, down 9.1 percent. The price received in September 2022 was $7.09 per bushel

 

Soybean farmers received $13.20 per bushel in September 2023 compared to $14.10 per bushel in August 2023, down 6.8 percent. The price received in September 2022 was $14.20 per bushel

 

The September 2023 egg price received by farmers was $ 1.22 per dozen for table eggs lower than $1.35 per dozen in August 2023 and compared to $2.65 per dozen in September 2022. The sharp year-on-year increase is attributed to disequilibrium between supply and demand. Highly pathogenic avian influenza resulted in depletion of 44 million hens with a reduction of 20 million producing birds in the supply flock on average from mid 2022 onwards. This situation was coupled with increased demand as consumers increased purchases of eggs representing a competitively priced protein source in an inflationary environment.


 

USDA Grain Stocks Report

09/29/2023

The USDA quarterly Grain Stocks Report released on September 29th 2023, documented storage of the major commodities, classified according to on-site and remote facilities including elevators and commercial installations. Quantities of corn and soybeans, the two major commodities relevant to the cost of poultry production were:-

“Corn stocks in all positions on September 1st 2023 totaled 1.36 billion bushels, down one percent from September 1st 2022. Of the total stocks, 605 million bushels are stored on farms, up 19 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 756 million bushels, are down 13 percent from a year ago. The June to August 2023 indicated disappearance is 2.75 billion bushels, compared with 2.97 billion bushels during the same period last year”.

 

“Based on an analysis of end-of-marketing year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports, and farm program administrative data, the 2022 corn for grain production is revised down 15.0 million bushels from the previous estimate. Corn silage production is revised down 291 thousand tons. Planted area is revised to 88.6 million acres, and area harvested for grain is revised to 79.1 million acres. Area harvested for silage is revised to 6.84 million acres. The 2022 grain yield, at 173.4 bushels per acre, is up 0.1 bushel from the previous estimate. The 2022 silage yield, at 18.7 tons per acre, remains unchanged from the previous estimate”.

 

“Soybeans stored in all positions on September 1st 2023 totaled 268 million bushels, down two percent from September 1st 2022. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 72.0 million bushels, up 14 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 196 million bushels, are down 7 percent from last September. Indicated disappearance for June - August 2023 totaled 528 million bushels, down 24 percent from the same period a year earlier”.

 

“Based on an analysis of end-of-marketing year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports and crushings, and farm program administrative data, the 2022 soybean production is revised down 5.93 million bushels from the previous estimate. Planted area is unchanged at 87.5 million acres, but harvested area is revised to 86.2 million acres. The 2022 yield, at 49.6 bushels per acre, is revised up 0.1 bushel from the previous estimate”.

 

Prices and commentary are incorporated in the Weekly Energy, Economy and Commodity Report posted each week and a summary of the WASDE #640 released on September 12th is retrievable under the STATISTICS tab.


 

USDA Agricultural Prices Report

08/31/2023

THE USDA Agricultural Prices Report released August 31st 2022 documented July prices for agricultural commodities and expenditures.

 

 The USDA ERS summarised prices as follows:-

 

July Prices Received Index Down 2.1 Percent

 

“The July Prices Received Index 2011 Base (Agricultural Production), at 124.7, decreased 2.1 percent from June and 7.0 percent from July 2022. At 118.7, the Crop Production Index was down 1.2 percent from last month and 4.9 percent from the previous year. The Livestock Production Index, at 132.4, decreased 2.0 percent from June, and 9.4 percent from July last year. Producers received lower prices during July for broilers, corn, milk, and hay, but higher prices for hogs, lettuce, soybeans, and strawberries. In addition to prices, the volume change of commodities marketed also influences the indexes. In July, there was decreased marketing of cattle, milk, broilers, and hogs, but increased monthly movement for wheat, grapes, hay, and cotton”.

 

July Prices Paid Index was up 0.1 Percent

“The July Prices Paid Index for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW), at 138.7, is up 0.1 percent from June 2023, but unchanged from July 2022. Higher prices in July for feeder cattle, concentrates, diesel, and LP gas more than offset lower prices for hay & forages, feed grains, nitrogen, and complete feeds”.

 

Corn farmers received $6.32 per bushel in July 2023 compared to $7.25 per bushel in July 2022, up 12.8 percent.

 

Soybean farmers received $14.70 per bushel in July 2023 compared to $15.50 per bushel in July 2022, down 5.2 percent.

 

The July market egg price, at 95.0 cents per dozen, was $1.60 lower than July 2022. The year-on-year decrease is attributed to restoration of production following the disequilibrium between supply and demand attributed to HPAI. This infection resulted in depletion of 44 million hens with a reduction of 20 million producing birds in the supply flock on average from mid-2022 onwards. This situation was coupled with increased demand as consumers increased purchases of eggs representing a competitively priced protein source in an inflationary environment.


 

Planted Acreage Report

06/30/2023

The June 30th 2023 Planted Acreage report documented the respective areas planted to corn and soybeans, the two commodities of relevance to the poultry industry. The USDA confirmed:-

 

Corn-planted area for all purposes in 2023 is estimated at 94.1 million acres, up six percent or 5.52 million acres from last year. This represents the third highest planted acreage in the United States since 1944. Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected to be up or unchanged in 43 of the 48 estimating States. Area harvested for grain, at 86.3 million acres, is up nine percent from last year.

 

Soybean-planted area for 2023 is estimated at 83.5 million acres, down five percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage is down or unchanged in 21 of the 29 estimating States.

 

Together with the Grain Stocks report the Planted Acreage data moved the market for corn and soybeans by about five percent but in contrasting directions.

 

For corn the acreage was above the most optimistic projection although offset by a lower stock. At 14H30 on the CME after the release of the two USDA reports, corn was down 25 cents per bushel to 556 cents for July delivery and for September, corn was down 34 cents per bushel to 489 cents.

 

For soybeans the reduced acreage and consequently lower ending stocks was bullish for the new crop. At 14H30 CME soybeans were up 75 cents per bushel to 1,558 cents for July delivery and for September the soybean price was up 73 cents per bushel to 1,354 cents.


 

USDA-ERS Predicts Egg Prices for 2023

02/27/2023

According to USDA economists, retail egg prices increased by 8.5 percent in January 2023, approximately 70.1 percent above January 2022.  The USDA-ERS now predicts that egg prices will increase by 37.8 percent in 2023 but with a wide range of 18.3 to 62.3 percent attributed to volatility.  Concurrently the USDA-ERS predicted a 4.7 percent increase in the price of meats, 7.2 percent for dairy products and 12.8 percent for cereals and bakery products.

 

Wholesale farm-level egg prices are predicted to increase by 7.4 percent in 2023 with a wide prediction interval of -32.6 to 76.1 percent.  Egg prices are extremely volatile, complicating reliable predictions.

 

EGG-NEWS will monitor weekly USDA wholesale prices by region and average retail prices to document retail margins.


 




























































































































































































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