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Commodities Report: Fear of COVID-19 Created Soft Prices



Volatility in the commodity markets has been intense to say the least this winter as COVID-19 has caused human and economic challenges in various countries. Apprehension over how the consumer will limit themselves during this crisis has driven numerous concerns around food commodity demands. And travel being limited has helped pushed energy prices downward. Crude oil prices in March fell near levels not seen since 2003.  All this being said, the markets and consumers should eventually get more informed around COVID-19 which would bring some calm to both.  But until we have the data to do so, the markets are likely to remain erratic. As of early March, COVID-19 testing in the U.S. was minimal. In agriculture, commodity prices have softened but not to the levels of crude oil and the equity markets.  Feed supplies in the U.S. and worldwide are relatively adequate as the South American crops are progressing well. And big corn plantings are projected in the U.S. this year, which should only help feed supplies. Bigger soybean acreage is anticipated in the U.S. as well, but the new trade deal with China could help the available soybean supply to tighten later this year. Still, feed prices in the U.S. are expected to remain relatively engaging for protein and dairy producers for at least the rest of this year. And the USDA is signaling strong chicken and pork production expansion.  Chicken and pork prices could mostly remain relatively attractive this spring as a result, but stronger trade could be looming thereafter which would bring support to chicken-leg quarters and various pork markets. Beef prices have generally tracked well below 2019 levels.  But beef output is anticipated to fall below prior year levels later in 2020 which could tighten supplies. 

 

BEEF-Prices are by the pound and based on f.o.b. Omaha carlot.
3/5/20 2/6/20 Difference 3/7/19
Ground Beef 81/19 1.81 1.94 <0.13> 1.86
168 Inside Round (ch.) 2.45 2.24 0.21 2.25
180 0x1 Strp (choice) 5.54 5.58 <0.04> 6.30
112a Ribeye (choice) 7.24 7.38 <0.14> 7.86
189a Tender (select) 9.28 10.52 <1.24> 10.29
189a Tender (choice) 9.36 10.43 <1.07> 10.34

 

OIL AND RICE-Prices per pound based on USDA Reports.
3/5/20 2/6/20 Difference 3/7/19
Crude Soybean Oil .292 .309 <0.017> .293
Crude Corn Oil .360 .360 - .257
Rice, Long Grain .265 .258 0.007 .241

 

DAIRY-Prices are by the pound and based on USDA reports.
Cheese 3/5/20 2/6/20 Difference 3/7/19
American 1.68 1.64 0.04 1.50
Cheddar (40#) 1.84 2.02 <0.18> 1.69
Mozzarella 1.92 2.09 <0.17> 1.77
Butter(AA)
One pound solids 1.86 1.88 <0.02> 2.30
Class II Cream
Cream 1.94 2.05 <0.11> 2.58

 

PORK-Prices are by the pound and based on f.o.b. Omaha carlot.
3/5/20 2/6/20 Difference 3/7/19
Belly (bacon) 0.71 0.90 <0.19> 1.09
Spare Rib (3.5& down) 1.50 1.61 <0.11> 1.33
Ham (23-27#) 0.63 0.54 0.09 0.47
Bbybck Rib (2-1.75#) 2.34 2.30 0.04 2.22
Tenderloin (1.25#) 1.68 1.71 <0.03> 1.78

 

POULTRY-Prices are by the pound except for eggs (dozen) and based on USDA reports.
Chicken 3/5/20 2/6/20 Difference 3/7/19
Wings 1.72 1.87 <0.15> 1.74
Bnless Skinless Breast 1.01 0.88 0.13 1.04
Eggs
Large 0.97 1.15 <0.18> 0.99
Medium 0.78 0.81 <0.03> 0.79
Miscellaneous
Whole Turkeys (8-16#) 0.99 0.96 0.03 0.83

 

PRODUCE-Prices are by the case and are based on USDA reports.
3/5/20 2/6/20 Difference 3/7/19
Limes (150 ct.) 16.50 9.00 7.50 26.00
Lemons (200 ct.) 22.19 21.19 1.00 23.47
Cantaloupe (18 ct.) 8.98 10.45 <1.47> 12.45
Strawberries (12 pts) 13.00 17.00 <4.00> 13.30
Avocds (Hass 48ct.) 53.25 37.25 16.00 24.75
Idaho Potato (70 ct.) 21.00 19.88 1.12 13.63
Yellow Onions (50 lb.) 6.25 6.88 <0.63> 10.06
Red Onions (25 lb.) 11.17 11.76 <0.59> 12.12
White Onions (50 lb.) 22.19 24.09 <1.90> 40.81
Tomatoes (5X6-25lb.) 18.95 16.95 2.00 13.20
Roma Tomatoes 14.95 11.75 3.20 12.73
Green Peppers 14.75 10.08 4.67 19.75
Iceberg Lettuce 7.18 7.59 <0.41> 29.90
Leaf Lettuce 7.02 7.61 <0.59> 18.53
Romaine Lettuce 7.12 7.34 <0.22> 18.14
Broccoli (14 ct.) 6.26 7.71 <1.45> 15.38


Market information provided by David Maloni of ArrowStream.  ArrowStream is a foodservice supply chain technology company that helps clients capitalize on data to improve their business.  Learn more at ArrowStream.com

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