The U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on Sept. 1 fell 1.4% from a year ago to 73.8 million head, USDA said Thursday in its latest quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.
The drop was steeper than the 0.8% decline the market had anticipated, pointing to tighter hog supplies in the near term, and is likely to put upward pressure on prices, analysts said.
"The total number of hogs and pigs in the US came in below expectations; in fact, every major supply indicator was under consensus. All else equal, this should signal fewer hogs available than expected, which is not ideal for packers such as (Tyson)," J.P. Morgan analysts wrote in a report to clients.
USDA said the breeding inventory, at 6.15 million head, was down 1% from last year, and the market hog inventory, at 67.6 million head, was also down 1%.
The June-August 2022 pig crop, at 33.6 million head, was down 1% from a year ago, and sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.02 million head, down 1%.
U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.97 million sows farrow during the September-November 2022 quarter, down 2% from the actual farrowings during the same period a year earlier, and down 6% from the same time two years earlier.
Intended farrowings for December 2022-February 2023, at 2.90 million sows, are down 1% from a year ago and down 1% from the same period two years ago.
Families can expect to pay record high prices at the grocery store for turkey this upcoming holiday season thanks to the impacts of the bird flu and inflation. American Farm Bureau Federation economists analyzed turkey and egg costs in their latest Market Intel.
The retail price for fresh boneless, skinless turkey breast reached a record high of $6.70 per pound in September, 112% higher than the same time in 2021 when prices were $3.16 per pound. The previous record high price was $5.88 per pound in November 2015, during the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak. Click here for the full article.
The risk to manufacturing, agriculture and distribution sectors in Florida is rapidly intensifying as powerful Hurricane Ian takes aim at the state’s southwest coast. But the economic ripple effects are likely to be felt well beyond the storm zone.
Experts are predicting severe disruption to supply chains from flooding, power outages and wind damage that could stall factory and farm production, as well as freight movement through major port, airport, highway and rail nodes. The Tampa-to-Orlando corridor is chockablock full of huge retail and e-commerce distribution centers. Click here to read the full article.
USDA projects that calendar 2022 will wind up clocking a 10% increase in the price of meat, poultry and fish purchased for at-home dining, the largest price increase in the category in 43 years, according to the agency's most recent Food Price Outlook report.
Price increases in 2023, however, are expected to moderate to nearly normal levels, with an increase between 2% and 3% for the year, according to USDA's Economic Research Service.
Inflation for all food purchased for the home — which accounts for 62% of the overall food price calculations — is projected to land at about 11% for 2022. That would be the highest rate of price increases since 1974, although retail food inflation was nearly as high in 1978 and '79 as well.
In August, the month-to-month retail price changes in most meat categories actually fell compared to July: Beef and veal were down 0.3%, and pork and other meats were down 0.1%. Poultry prices rose 0.8% for the month.
For food eaten away from home, the category is expected to wrap up 2022 with inflation of around 7%. That category also is expected to moderate next year to about 3.5%.
Two commercial turkey flocks in South Dakota were hit, bringing to 38 the number of commercial turkey flocks hit by the virus in that state since January, affecting 1.7 million birds. Both flocks were in Clark County. Before this latest report, South Dakota last reported an HPAI outbreak May 3. Click here to read the full article.
The White House this week unveiled its new strategy for improving the health of Americans and reducing food insecurity ahead of its Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health, which got underway today.
President Joe Biden announced a goal of ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 so fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases.
Among the initiatives are proposals to develop a front-of-packaging labeling scheme and update the nutrition criteria for the "healthy" claim on food packages.
The initiative also calls for facilitating sodium reduction in the food supply by issuing longer-term, voluntary sodium targets for industry, and assessing additional steps to reduce added sugar consumption, including potential voluntary targets.
The White House is proposing to increase access to free and nourishing school meals, provide summer benefits to more children and expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility to more underserved populations.
It also wants to work with Congress to pilot coverage of medically tailored meals in Medicare, test Medicaid coverage of nutrition education and other nutrition supports, and expand Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries’ access to nutrition and obesity counseling.
The second wave of HPAI outbreaks continues, with new cases striking commercial turkey flocks in Minnesota, South Dakota and Utah. According to Sept. 20 updates from APHIS, more than 100,000 turkeys were affected by new outbreaks in Minnesota's Brown and Stearns counties. That is in addition to the 281,400 Minnesota turkeys already culled this month alone.
In South Dakota, where avian flu had been absent for months, two large outbreaks hit Clark County, with more than 60,000 commercial turkeys affected. Utah's Sanpete County also experienced an outbreak in commercial turkeys affecting a total of 73,200 birds.
The rising number of HPAI cases heading into fall bears out a recent report from CoBank saying that the nation’s poultry industry and other birds remain under threat from the spread of HPAI in the coming months.
For further insights on the HPAI outbreak, read in-depth coverage in the latest issue of Meatingplace magazine.
Many convenience stores gained business during COVID-19 when many restaurants shut down temporarily or closed their doors for good. What role did foodservice at c-stores play in that trend? It actually started long before COVID-19. As an example, 17 years ago, Hershey participated in a c-store bakery program for the first time. Other companies were doing the same and pushed to provide made-to-order products. Eventually, we started seeing c-stores including ice cream and shakes, which was a big opportunity for topping and mix-ins for Hershey. Click here to read the full article.
It’s difficult to project how the fast-casual industry will perform in a recession. The current version of the industry hasn’t really seen one.
To be sure, the fast-casual concept predates the financial crisis of the late 2000s. But the industry’s reach has exploded in the intervening years. Click here to read the full article.
While beef prices are expected to rise next year, the poultry market is predicted to experience significant deflation, according to a September 2022 BTIG report. Click here to read the full article.
Inflation may be slowing, but food prices are still through the roof.
Food costs spiked 11.4% over the past year, the largest annual increase since May 1979, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Americans browsing the supermarket aisle will notice most food items are far more expensive than they were a year ago. Egg prices soared 39.8%, while flour got 23.3% more expensive. Milk rose 17% and the price of bread jumped 16.2%. Click here to read the full article.
Inflation isn’t just about fuel costs anymore, as price increases broaden across the economy
For the better part of a year, the inflation narrative among many economists and policymakers was that it was essentially a food and fuel problem. Once supply chains eased and gas prices abated, the thinking went, that would help lower food costs and in turn ease price pressures across the economy. Click here to read the full article from CNBC.
Railroad companies and workers unions reached a tentative labor agreement early Thursday, avoiding a strike that threatened to disrupt shipments of commodities and goods around the country, the White House announced.
"The hard work done to reach this tentative agreement means that our economy can avert the significant damage any shutdown would have brought," President Joe Biden said in a statement.
Tentative agreements have been reached with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Transportation Division, and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, according to a press release from the Association of American Railroads. The unions represent about 60,000 employees.
"The tentative agreements reached with these unions avert a potential strike in advance of Friday’s deadline," the association said.
The National Grain and Feed Association, in a press release, commended the railroads and unions for "working in good faith toward an agreement and preventing severe economic damage."
New contracts provide rail employees a 24% wage increase during the five-year period from 2020 through 2024, including an immediate payout on average of $11,000 upon ratification, following the recommendations of the Presidential Emergency Board, the railroad association said. The agreements are subject to ratification by the unions’ membership.
The $7.44 trillion U.S food industry is investing in e-commerce, robotics, and technology like never before.
A recent report from Exploding Topics — a trend-tracking software platform that analyzes millions of searches, conversations and mentions across the internet — unpacked several related developments impacting the food and beverage industry today. Click here to read the full article.
Although price matters to older Gen Zs (ages 18-24) in the US, their taste preferences and definition of value dictate the type of restaurants they visit. As a result, Gen Zs skew towards quick service restaurants, particularly fast casual, that balance value and focused menu, according to The NPD Group.
In the 12 months ending July 2022, Gen Zs made 5 billion restaurant visits, 4.3 billion visits to quick service restaurants and 736 million to full service restaurants. Gen Z fast casual visits were up 4 percent in the period compared to a year ago. According to NPD’s recently released Winning Gen Z Consumers study, Gen Zs favor major fast casual chains that provide the menu items they want, value for the money and messaging that reflects their interests, like organics and sustainability. Click here to read the full article.
With August food prices increasing 11.4% year-over-year, Americans are experiencing a fundamental shift in their everyday patterns, with some even adopting an “inflation diet.” A recent survey by consumer research platform Attest took a closer look at how consumer grocery habits have changed over the past 12-months.
“The research shows that consumers are understandably trying to save where they can in reaction to inflation, especially pulling back on premium food products and alcohol,” said Jeremy King, CEO of Attest, in a press release. Click here to read the full article.
U.S. Railways to Halt Grain Shipments Ahead of Potential Shutdown Agriculture Sources Say
Some U.S. railroads will start halting crop shipments on Thursday, a day ahead of a potential work stoppage, an agricultural association and sources at two grain cooperatives said on Tuesday, threatening exports and feed deliveries for livestock. Click here to read the full article.
Though East Hampton is a solidly middle-class town in Connecticut, dozens of families are applying for free school meals for the first time as they contend with high food costs and tight budgets.
Like their peers in most of the US, East Hampton children soon will no longer automatically receive breakfast and lunch at school without charge as they have for the past two years. That’s because Congress in June did not extend the Covid-19 pandemic waivers that had expanded free school meals to all students, regardless of income.
Click here to read the full article.
The risk of another highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak remains for poultry farmers as fall approaches across the U.S., according to experts. As the fall wild migratory bird season starts, the disease has reared its head in the Midwest. It was detected in two commercial turkey flocks in western Minnesota and a hobby flock in Indiana on August 31, according to the Associated Press. Click here to read the full article.
It was a bad year for corn. And for tomatoes. And for many other American crops. Farmers, agricultural economists and others taking stock of this summer's growing season say drought conditions and extreme weather have wreaked havoc on many row crops, fruits and vegetables, with the American Farm Bureau Federation suggesting yields could be down by as much as a third compared with last year. Click here for the full article.
The National Restaurant Association says the foodservice industry is forecast to reach $898B in sales in 2022, up from $799 billion in 2021 and even higher than the pre-pandemic sales of $864 billion in 2019. They also report that 51% of adults say they aren’t eating at restaurants as often as they would like, which is an increase of 6 percentage points from before the pandemic. But pent-up demand for restaurant services remains high. Restaurant operators have had to pivot from in-house to take-away during the pandemic, then readjust to supply chain problems the following year. Click here for 30 trending restaurant menu items.
The current economic worries driven by inflation aren't stopping millennials from dining out as 84% ordered restaurant delivery in the past month and nearly one in three millennials visited a quick service restaurant more, or much more, in Q2, according to data from RMS regrading dining habits of generational groups. Click here to read the full article.
People returning to offices are still buying breakfast even as they cut back on other things
Consumers may be dining out less, but breakfast sales are holding steady as people return to offices and grab a quick bite or iced coffee on the way to work.
Overall traffic to restaurants fell 2% in the second quarter from a year ago as inflation drove menu prices up, according to market research firm The NPD Group. The only category that was unchanged: breakfast and morning snacks. Click here to read the full article.
Dressed in a short-sleeved chef’s shirt and black-and-white checkered chef pants, Yadiska van Putten puts a black nitrile glove on each hand as she begins her morning shift as a Level 2 prep and station cook in the kitchen of Gallery Restaurant at the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte. The hood vent and convection oven rumble behind her as she chops strawberries for the lunchtime salads.
Van Putten was hired for this $14-an-hour job in April, a month before she graduated from the Charlotte campus of Johnson & Wales University. She started in mid-May, one of about 30 cooks working the kitchen at the upscale restaurant, which bills itself as serving “New American fare in a refined venue.” Click here to read the full article.
Bird flu has returned to the Midwest earlier than authorities expected after a lull of several months, with the highly pathogenic disease being detected in a commercial turkey flock in western Minnesota, officials said Wednesday. Click here to read the full article.
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