Egg Industry News

 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, February 23rd 2017

Feb 24, 2017

    

According to the USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol.64: No. 8) posted on February 21st Midwest-wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large decreased by 3 percent this past week reverting to the prices pertaining five weeks ago. The progression of prices during 2017 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

The latest USDA Egg Market News Reports released documented a USDA Combined Region valu of $0.65 per dozen delivered to warehouses. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week, and is compared to a peak price of $2.20 per dozen in late November 2015.  The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $0.60 per dozen.

  

At the high end of the range, the price in the South Central Region, attained $0.69 per dozen. The current USDA Combined Price was approximately 75 cents per dozen below the three-year average. In early 2016 the average was inflated by the rise in prices attributed to the post-HPAI shortage of all eggs.

Hen numbers continue to rise relative to demand attaining approximately 311.6 million in production. Hens in lay increased from 303 million in early December 2016. For the past week the number of hens increased by 1.5 million. The total egg-flock comprises 316.7 million including hens in molt and small flocks.

Generic shell-egg stock increased by 0.4 percent reflecting the balance between demand and production. Dried-egg inventory of 29.4 million pounds as of December 31st is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products at 35.8 million pounds.    

   
 

RISE IN PRIVATE LABEL BUISNESS

Feb 24, 2017

    

The recent mid-November Exposition organized by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) held in Chicago, showcased innovations in food products and packaging.  Private label business surpassed $118 billion in 2015 with a growth rate approaching two percent

According to Nielsen, store brands in 2015 represented 18 percent of stores’sales value attaining $62.5 billion in U.S. supermarkets.  Growth rates for store brands in drug stores exceeded that of national brands last year. 

  

According to the PLMA, there was considerable growth from deep discount stores including Aldi and Save-A-Lot in addition to Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s.  These non-traditional supermarkets achieved $140 billion in sales representing a potential savings of $44 billion annually to shoppers who selected store brands.  According to McMillianDoolittle L.P. of Chicago, the majority of U.S. of food retailers will add to private label offerings in 2017. 

With the advent of Lidl in the U.S., there will be more competition in the private label space with lower prices and fewer s.k.u. counts on shelves.  Consumer surveys show that millennials in particular are more loyal to their favorite stores than their parents with 90 percent of those surveyed shopping in only two stores. 

Brian Scharoff President of the PLMA notes, “Store brands remain the retailer’s most potent weapon in developing strategies for the millennial group”.  He added, “store brands provide flexibility in opportunities to be creative with product assortment and concepts without waiting for national brands”. 

The trend towards store brands is evident with both generic and specialty eggs, to the detriment of national brands, which are experiencing difficulty in maintaining volume in a prolonged low-priced market with large differentials.

   
 

WALMART TESTS COMBINATION CONVENIENCE-PICKUP CONCEPT

Feb 24, 2017

    

Wal-Mart is testing a new concept to boost their eCommerce initiative.  Essentially the prototypes resemble a modern convenience store selling fuel in the forecourt and stocked with groceries, hot sandwiches and coffee in a 4,000 square foot sales area with aisles allowing access to groceries on shelves. 

 

What distinguishes the Wal-Mart operations in Huntsville, AL. and Denver, CO. is that shoppers can pick up groceries previously ordered on-line.  Gina Kretoski, responsible for Walmart eCommerce noted, “The concept was born because at Walmart because we are constantly looking for ways to add convenience.

Customers are changing the way they shop and we want to make sure we’re changing too”.  Online grocery pickup is open from 08H00 to 28H00.  Orders received by 13H00 will be available from 17H00 on the same day.  Orders are filled from local Walmart Supercenters and the service is free.

   
 

FRANCE DIAGNOSES H5N8 ON A DUCK FARM

Feb 24, 2017

    

Following the recent upsurge in reports of H5N8 in the EU, France announced isolation of virus from a duck farm in the southwest region of the Nation.  In early 2016 this area was affected by avian influenza among commercial farms holding geese and ducks to produce foie gras. (See report February 24th).

After a slow start to control and eradication attributed to inaction by regulatory authorities and deficiencies in biosecurity, the late-winter outbreak was eventually contained. Many dozen family-operated farms were affected resulting in bans on importation of poultry products from France and leading to a collapse of the foie gras industry due to embargos imposed by Japan and other importing nations. 

  

December 3rd was to have been the deadline for a declaration of freedom from AI.  It is possible that exports of the high-value foie gras product may continue if importing nations accept the principle of regionalization although it is noted that many of the production farms with up to 10,000 ducks are located in the southwest of France.

   
 

CLARITY EMERGES OVER SHELF-LIFE LABELING

Feb 24, 2017

    

The Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturing Association have suggested voluntary labels to indicate shelf life:

  • Best if Used By will indicate the date past which taste or quality may deteriorate
  • Use By indicates the date beyond which safety concerns may affect perishable products

It hoped that the adoption of the voluntary Best if Used By and Used By will be universally adopted in the U.S. by mid-2018, as roll-out has commenced.

 

Jack Jeffers, VP of Quality at Dean Foods noted, “Eliminating confusion among consumers by using common product data wording is a win-win because it means more products will be used instead of thrown away in error”.

It is noted that individual states have obligatory labeling of shelf-life which may conflict with the simple scheme suggested by the FMA and GMA. The current system of imprinting packs with a Julian date is not helpful to consumers and requires a supplementary open date.

   
 

LISTERIA IN CHEESE AFFECTS MANY PRODUCTS

Feb 24, 2017

    

Isolation of Listeria monocytogenes from a sample of cheese manufactured by Deutsch Kase Haus of Middleburg, IN. has resulted in an extensive recall involving 130 brands and products including Sargento, Sara Lee, and store brands sold by Meijer, Albertsons, H-E-B and other supermarket chains.

When contaminated cheese is added to processed food products including pizzas and salads, the extent of recalls increase exponentially in relation to the inclusion of an implicated dairy product.

  

   
 

Eating a Breakfast Meal Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Feb 24, 2017

    

According to dietary guidelines prepared by Columbia University Medical Center, consuming a breakfast meal rather than snacking during the day leads to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

The report was endorsed by the American Heart Association. The study demonstrated that 30 percent of U.S. adults skipped breakfast. 

Those that do eat breakfast each day usually have lower serum cholesterol and lower blood pressure compared to subjects deferring the first meal of the day.

Subjects who did not eat a breakfast meal were found to be overweight and prone to diabetes and other metabolic complications associated with over- consumption of calories and poor food choices.

  

The American Egg Board through the Egg Nutrition Center has demonstrated the benefits of consuming an egg at breakfast.  It is now up to the industry to engage with consumers and produce convenience foods that suit the lifestyles of the 30 percent that cannot accommodate a conventional breakfast into their routines and lifestyles.

   
 

National Restaurant Association Releases December Performance Index

Feb 24, 2017

    

The Restaurant Performance Index declined slightly in December to 100.5 from the November value of 100.7.

The Current Situation Index which measures same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditure declined slightly to 99.5 in December mainly as a result of depressed same-store sales and traffic.

  

The Expectations Index was unchanged in December at 101.6.  This parameter was associated with a “cautiously optimistic outlook for the economy.”

Approximately one-third of restaurant operators expect an improvement in the economy within the coming six months which is an improvement from 2016 with eleven straight months of negative expectations.  More than half of the restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure in equipment, expansion or remodeling within the next six month.  This may be due to increasing labor rates predicating modern equipment to achieve efficiency in food preparation and serving.

   
 

Midwest Layer Health Management School

Feb 24, 2017

    

The annual Layer Health Management School will be held May 10 – 11th 2017 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.  The program will include both lectures and laboratories and will cover aspects of ventilation management, pest control, recognition of disease and interaction with diagnostic laboratories.

The Layer Health Management School operates under the direction of faculty at Michigan State University, Purdue University, University of Minnesota and the University of Georgia.  The school has the support of a number of poultry organizations including the Minnesota Turkey Growers’ Association.

  

For further information access info@minnesotaturkey.com or (763) 682-2171.

   
 

Target to Shelve Innovation Programs

Feb 24, 2017

    

According to a February 3rd article in the Minnesota Star Tribune Target Corporation will now concentrate its resources on increasing traffic and same store sales. As a result, executive time and resources for innovative programs have been curtailed. 

Victims of the reorganization include “Goldfish” an E-commerce start-up and a highly mechanized “store of the future” incorporating robotics.

  

Dustee Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Communications for Target stated, “We regularly pause to evaluate our business and have to make tough choices about where our company is best served to invest our time and resources.”  The statement continued, “We recently made some changes to the innovation portfolio to refocus our efforts on supporting our core business, both in stores and online, and delivering against our strategic priorities.” 

Target has been impacted by executive turnover, contributing to a stalling of their recovery program initiated by Brian Cornell. Although there is merit in “thinking outside the box and appointing entrepreneurs-in-residence”, what Target needs most at the present time is a retreat to reality.

On a personal note, during a recent visit to a relatively new Target Superstore in an affluent suburban area of North Carolina, poorly stocked shelves were apparent, the clothing area looked like a going-out-of business sale at a K Mart and big-ticket items had been moved around on shelves so that it was impossible to determine prices.  Check-out lines were long, contributing to an unpleasant shopping experience.  At least the toilets were clean but that may be an indication of low traffic rather than a commitment to hygiene.

   
 

2017 IPPE Attendance

Feb 24, 2017

    

Statistics for the 2017 IPPE were made available on February 2nd.  These included 31,000 registrants, 1,275 exhibitors and the Show Floor which covered 533,000 square feet. 

In a joint statement by the organizers of the IPPE, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, the American Feed Industry Association and North American Meat Institute, noted “this year’s tremendous exhibition floor and attendee numbers is a complement to IPPE education programs, networking opportunities and diverse exhibits. 

 

The excitement and energy displayed by this year’s attendees and exhibitors will continue to safeguard the success and growth of future IPPEs.

The educational programs comprised 25 major symposia, the International Scientific Poultry Forum and various specialty workshops including the Pet Food Conference and the Beef Workshop.

   
 

Supermarket and Restaurant Industries Support Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act

Feb 24, 2017

    

According to a press release from the Food Marketing Institute on February 3rd, the Association will strongly support the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (H.R. 772/S. 261). 

The legislation would allow the use of a menu or menu board in prepared foods areas, declassifies advertisements and marketing materials as “menus” and allows the use of a website to comply with the FDA nutritional labeling requirements which would be onerous for both restaurants and supermarkets.

  

The Food and Drug Administration was inflexible in establishing a Final Rule on nutritional labeling and the proposed legislation would clarify many aspects neglected and deferred by the Agency to the benefit of both retailers and consumers.

   
 

Panera Bread Reports on Q4 and FY 2016

Feb 24, 2017

    

In a press release dated February 7th Panera Bread Company (PNRA) announced results for the 4th Quarter and Fiscal 2016 ending December 27th 2016.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)

   
   
 

Biomin Reports on Mycotoxin Content of 2016 Corn Crop

Feb 24, 2017

    

US feed and livestock producers should carefully monitor mycotoxin contamination in ingredients and feed, based on results in the latest BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey.

For 2016 in the United States, a total of 387 corn samples sourced from over 26 different states and 79 DDGS samples sourced from 14 different states were analyzed in three different laboratories (Romer Labs Inc., USA; Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University, USA; Activation Laboratories, Canada) in order to identify the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production by six major mycotoxin groups.

  

The survey results provide an insight to the prevalence of aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM), T-2 toxin (T-2), and ochratoxin A (OTA).In total, 387 corn samples and 79 distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) samples were sourced from across the US in 2016. Approximately 90% of corn samples and all DDGS samples tested positive for at least one mycotoxin.

Read the Full Sponsored Article at http://egg-cite.com/articles/single.aspx?contentID=8784

   
 

CME Prices

Feb 21, 2017

    

On February 16th close of trading trading on the CME, yielded the following rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal.

Values for corresponding months as quoted for the previous week are indicated in parentheses:-

COMMODITY

Corn (cents per bushel)

March ’17   368    (365)

May ’17     376  (   373)  

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

March ’17  1,035  (1,031)

May ’17  1,046  (1,042)  

Soybean meal ($per ton)

March ’17   341     (333)   

May ’17     345   (  336)   

 

Changes in the price of soybeans and soybean meal this week were:-

  • Corn:                     March quotation up by 3 cents                      (+0.8 percent)
  • Soybeans:            March quotation up by 4 cents.                     (+0.4 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:    March quotation up by $8/ton                      (+2.4) percent)

For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn :

  • The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen
  • The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-

  • The cost of egg production would change by 0.40 cent per dozen
  • The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

See posting on the February 9th USDA-WASDE Report #562 for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities produced in the 2016 season.

   
 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, February 15th 2017

Feb 20, 2017

    

OVERVIEW

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on February 13th Midwest-wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large decreased by 20 percent this past week reverting to the prices pertaining four weeks ago. The progression of prices during 2017 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

  

The USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol 64: No. 08) released on February 13th documented a USDA Combined Region value of $0.81 per dozen delivered to warehouses. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week, and is compared to a peak price of $2.20 per dozen in late November 2015.  The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $0.75 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the South Central Region, attained $0.85 per dozen. The current USDA Combined Price was approximately 63 cents per dozen below the three-year average. In early 2016 the average was inflated by the rise in prices attributed to the post-HPAI shortage of all eggs.

Hen numbers continue to rise relative to demand attaining approximately 310.8 million in production. Hens in lay increased from 303 million in early December 2016. For the past week the number of hens increased by 0.7 million. The total egg-flock comprises 315.9 million including hens in molt and small flocks. Generic shell-egg stock increased by 0.1 percent reflecting the balance between demand and production. Dried-egg inventory of 30.1 million pounds as of January 31st is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products at 35.8 million pounds.    

   
 

JANUARY 2017 USDA EX-FARM BENCHMARK PRICE DECLINES 34 PERCENT FROM DECEMBER, RESULTING IN A NEGATIVE MARGIN.

Feb 17, 2017

    

Introduction

Comments supplementing the production summary tables for the latest series reflecting USDA January 2017 statistics and prices made available by the EIC on February 15th 2017, are tabulated together with comparison values from the previous January 12th 2017 posting.

EGG-CITE summarizes weekly USDA data on egg production and prices in each edition.

  

January 2017 Cost and Revenue Data

The USDA reports data for six regions, respectively comprising the Northeast, South East (Mid-Atlantic), South Central, Midwest, Northwest and California (NW and California combined in some tables)

  • The USDA ex farm benchmark blended egg price in January 2017 fell 34 percent to 48.2 cents per dozen, compared to December yielding a negative margin of 12.1 cents per dozen as delivered from the laying house. The January 2017 value should be compared to 91.7 cents per dozen for the corresponding month in 2016 and 88.2 cents per dozen in January 2015. It is noted that from November 2014 through March 2015, prices were inflated in anticipation of implementation of California Proposition #2 effective January 1st 2015 and then at the end of this period by the seasonal pre-Easter rise. Thereafter prices responded positively to shortages caused by HPAI in the upper Midwest with a peak in August 2015.
  • During January 2017 feed price averaged 32.4 cents per dozen. Feed cost during 2015 averaged 34.9 cents per dozen. The average feed cost in 2014 was 43.2 cents per dozen in contrast to 2013 which was considerably higher at 50.12 cents per dozen, reflecting the drought-affected crop of 2012.
  • Combining data from the USDA and the EIC (formerly data from the University of California), producers recorded a negative margin of 12.1 cents per dozen at farm level for flocks in January compared to a positive margin of 12.1 cents per dozen in December. The algebraic average margin for 2016 was -9.6 cents per dozen with losses experienced for eight consecutive months.  Ex-farm margin for 2015 amounted to a monthly average of 74.5 cents per dozen. For 2014, average ex-farm contribution margin was 33.9 cents per dozen with all months positive. During 2013, a monthly algebraic positive average margin of 15.3 cents per dozen was earned.
  • The simple average price of feed for January 2017 over 5-regions was $206.30, 1.7 percent higher than in December. The Southeast recorded the highest cost among five regions at $238.44 compared to the lowest region, the Midwest at $175.77 per ton. The average figure includes ingredients plus milling and delivery at approximately $10 per ton. The price of corn was $151 per ton in January. An increase of 3.8 percent in the price of soybean meal from $338 per ton in December to $351 per ton in January contributed to the rise.in the cost of feed There was a $71 per ton differential in corn price between the Midwest and the Southeast in January 2016. Feed price will continue to be the major factor driving production cost and hence margin. Each $10 per ton difference in feed cost represents 1.75 cents per dozen.
  • The EIC-calculated the 6-Region total nest-run production cost in January to be 60.33 cents per dozen, 1.0 percent higher than 59.73 cents per dozen recorded in December. Production costs during January ranged from 54.88 cents per dozen in the Midwest up to 76.26 cents per dozen in California which was higher than the Midwest region by 21.4 cents per dozen. The differential in feed cost between the extremes, the Southeast and the Midwest regions was 9.8 cents per dozen in January.
  • Retail egg prices as determined by the Department of Commerce for December 2016 averaged 138.3 cents per dozen, down by 4.7 percent or 6.2 cents per dozen compared to November. During December 2015 and 2014 retail prices were 275.1 cents per dozen (post HPAI) and 221.0 cents per dozen respectively in the run-up to implementation of California Proposition #2. During 2016 retail prices did not decline in proportion to ex-farm prices allowing higher margins at retail depressing demand.
   
 

Aspen Hills Closes as a Result of Listeria Contamination

Feb 17, 2017

    

Previously CHICK-CITE and EGG-CITE reported on outbreaks of listeriosis involving Blue Bell ice cream contaminated with dough supplied by Aspen Hills Inc. and the previous 2015 outbreaks of listeriosis associated with multiple plants operated by Blue Bell, a national brand.

The September 2016 determination that Listeria monocytogenes was present in cookie dough supplied by Aspen Hills to be added to Blue Bell ice cream, resulted from enhanced quality control by the ice cream producer acting in compliance with the FSMA. 

  

The finding resulted in an investigation revealing problems in the Aspen Hills’ Iowa plant during a late September FDA inspection. This resulted in the Agency issuing a Form-483.  The FDA carried out a subsequent inspection at the plant and on January 10th 2017 issued a further warning letter documenting continuation of serious violations.

The owners of the plant failed to correct deficiencies and to respond adequately to the September warning letter. The January communication stated, “The frequency of these environmental findings in conjunction with your finished product finding indicates that your firm is not taking aggressive action to identify harborage sites for L. monocytogenes, to deep clean your facility effectively, and to prevent finished product contamination.”

The FDA applied whole genome sequencing (WGS) to 15 isolates to demonstrate that they were genetically identical.  Based on deficiencies in the plant and an apparent inability to rectify the problems relating to equipment, procedures and training as detailed by the FDA, the owners elected to cease production and wind up the company.

Listeria can become a persistent infection in food plants and requires diligent hygiene and decontamination of equipment and work surfaces at regular intervals coupled with effective quality control as part of a HACCP program.

   
 

Whole Genome Sequencing Reviewed at IPPE

Feb 17, 2017

    

USPOULTRY in conjunction with the North American Meat Institute organized a symposium “Whole genome Sequencing – Food Safety Implications” during the 2017 IPPE.  Dr. Haley Oliver, Associate Professor of Food Science at Purdue University provided a description of the process and how it can be used to alert public health officials regarding the presence of a common-source infection.  Dr. Oliver also noted the value of public-access databases reviewable by researchers and public health officials in their investigations.

  

Dr. Matthew Wise, director of the Outbreak Response Team lead-investigator at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noted that food production and distribution have undergone substantial change over twenty years and that ready-to-eat food is now consumed more frequently.  Whole Genome Sequencing can be applied to definitively determine if bacteria isolated from patients and an implicated food are identical.  Wise considers that sequenced-based surveillance will result in the detection of new outbreaks allowing quicker control and reducing the incidence rate for outbreaks.

It is evident that the food industry will have to become acquainted with WGS, how it can be applied and the implications in terms of liability.  Dr. Rafael River, Manager of Food Safety and Production at USPOULTRY noted, “We need industry concerns addressed before we can proceed with any activity related to WGS. Most importantly, we need the time and space to learn how to use WGS to improve public health and protect our industries.”

   
 

Webinar on HPAI Outbreak Response

Feb 17, 2017

    

The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center at the University of Nebraska arranged a webinar on response to avian influenza. 

The program was aired on February 17, 2017.

An archived version will be available subsequent to the webinar at www.extension.org/54317

  

   
 

Aldi Embarks on Store Upgrades

Feb 17, 2017

    

Aldi announced on Wednesday January 8th that it will spend $1.6 billion remodeling U.S. stores.  The program will increase selling space by 20 percent to 12,000 square foot for an average store.  The upgrades will include 1,300 stores to provide extended displays for perishable products, with the program completed by 2020.  In addition the Company will invest $3 billion for 615 new locations over a five-year period.

  

The changes are believed to be a preemptive measure to compete effectively with Lidl also a deep discounter operating in the EU although according to analysts, the upgrade will affect existing supermarket operators rather than a direct confrontation with Lidl.

In a related matter, the Schwarz Group, the parent company of Lidl has named Dane Hojer as the CEO following the resignation of Sven Scidel previous incumbent.

   
 

Whole Foods Market Reports on Q1 of FY 2017

Feb 17, 2017

    

In a press release dated February 8th after the market closed, Whole Foods Market (WFM) announced results for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal 2017 ending January 15th.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)

   
   
 

Eating a Breakfast Meal Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Feb 17, 2017

    

According to dietary guidelines prepared by Columbia University Medical Center, consuming a breakfast meal rather than snacking during the day leads to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

The report was endorsed by the American Heart Association. The study demonstrated that 30 percent of U.S. adults skipped breakfast. 

Those that do eat breakfast each day usually have lower serum cholesterol and lower blood pressure compared to subjects deferring the first meal of the day.

Subjects who did not eat a breakfast meal were found to be overweight and prone to diabetes and other metabolic complications associated with over- consumption of calories and poor food choices.

  

The American Egg Board through the Egg Nutrition Center has demonstrated the benefits of consuming an egg at breakfast.  It is now up to the industry to engage with consumers and produce convenience foods that suit the lifestyles of the 30 percent that cannot accommodate a conventional breakfast into their routines and lifestyles.

   
 

National Restaurant Association Releases December Performance Index

Feb 17, 2017

    

The Restaurant Performance Index declined slightly in December to 100.5 from the November value of 100.7.

The Current Situation Index which measures same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditure declined slightly to 99.5 in December mainly as a result of depressed same-store sales and traffic.

  

The Expectations Index was unchanged in December at 101.6.  This parameter was associated with a “cautiously optimistic outlook for the economy.”

Approximately one-third of restaurant operators expect an improvement in the economy within the coming six months which is an improvement from 2016 with eleven straight months of negative expectations.  More than half of the restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure in equipment, expansion or remodeling within the next six month.  This may be due to increasing labor rates predicating modern equipment to achieve efficiency in food preparation and serving.

   
 

Supermarket and Restaurant Industries Support Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act

Feb 17, 2017

    

According to a press release from the Food Marketing Institute on February 3rd, the Association will strongly support the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (H.R. 772/S. 261). 

The legislation would allow the use of a menu or menu board in prepared foods areas, declassifies advertisements and marketing materials as “menus” and allows the use of a website to comply with the FDA nutritional labeling requirements which would be onerous for both restaurants and supermarkets.

  

The Food and Drug Administration was inflexible in establishing a Final Rule on nutritional labeling and the proposed legislation would clarify many aspects neglected and deferred by the Agency to the benefit of both retailers and consumers.

   
 

Sysco Reports on Q2 of FY 2017

Feb 17, 2017

    

In a press release dated February 6th Sysco (SYY) announced results for the 2nd Quarter of Fiscal 2017 ending December 31st 2016.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS).

  

   
 

Ayers Rock, Northern Territories, Australia

Feb 16, 2017

Dr. Simon Shane and Dr. Barbara Shane visit
AyersRock, Northern Territories, Australia

   
 

USDA- WASDE FORECAST #562, February 9th 2016

Feb 15, 2017

    

Overview

The February 9th 2017 USDA WASDE projections for the 2016/7 corn and soybean crops reflected actual harvest data. Areas for corn and soybeans were unchanged at 86.7 million and 82.7 million acres respectively.

The USDA retained corn and soybean yields as 174.6 bushels per acre and 52.1 bushels per acre. Ending stocks for corn and soybeans were projected at 2,320 million bushels and 420 million bushels respectively.

  

Corn

The corn harvest attained a near record of 15,148 million bushels. None of the major categories of use were appreciably changed as is normal for a post-harvest WASDE report. The projected USDA range in farm price incorporated a 40 cent per bushel spread and price was raised by 10 cents per bushel on the low end and down 10 cents per bushel on the high end compared to the January 2016 WASDE Report, attaining 320 to 360 cents per bushel. At the close of trading on February 12th, CME quotations for March and May 2017 corn were 374 cents and 382 cents per bushel respectively.

The RFS for 2016 was belatedly determined to be 18.11 billion gallons by the EPA on November 30th 2015 (See Editorial in CHICK-CITE). The value was four percent higher than the May 2015 proposal of 17.4 billion gallons. It is doubtful that the incoming Administration will alter existing RFS levels given support of the Midwest agricultural sector to the election outcome and reinforced by assurances to corn-state legislators in early January 2017.

A wild card will be the influence of the nominees for the EPA-Director and Secretary of Energy, both of whom favor the oil and refining industries of their home states and both have opposed the RFS. Business associates of the President-elect have recently commented adversely on the system of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) which affect the profitability of many domestic refineries. The coming year should emerge as an interesting exercise in power shifts with very little precedent to indicate future policy, giving rise to a potential soap opera to be called As the Swamp Drains.

The prevailing but stable historically low oil price reflects a slowing of World economic activity and increased oil and gas production in North America. Supply is a function of now restricted output from Saudi Arabia, lower production from Nigeria and Venezuela, resumption of supply from Iraq and Iran, and interference by Russia in Mideast affairs. Reduced output according to an OPEC “agreement” in early December are all contributory factors, determining the balance between supply and demand which is important to the livestock industry as oil price is correlated to grain prices. The WTI fluctuated between $50 and $54 per barrel during the past month.

   
 

SCHNUCKS TO INITIATE HOME DELIVERY

Feb 15, 2017

    

Schnuck’s, a major food retailer in the St. Louis metro area will partner with InstaCart for delivery services in their area of operation.

They join Shop’n Save, Whole Foods Market and Costco in using InstaCart.

   
   
 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, February 8th 2017

Feb 10, 2017

    

OVERVIEW

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on February 6th Midwest-wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large decreased by 4 percent this past week reverting to the prices pertaining two weeks ago. The progression of prices during 2017 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

  

The USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol 64: No. 06) released on February 6th documented a USDA Combined Region value of $0.84 per dozen delivered to warehouses. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week, and is compared to a peak price of $2.20 per dozen in late November 2015.  The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $0.76 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the South Central Region, attained $0.88 per dozen. The current USDA Combined Price was approximately 62 cents per dozen below the three-year average. In early 2016 the average was inflated by the rise in prices attributed to the post-HPAI shortage of all eggs.

Hen numbers continue to rise relative to demand attaining approximately 310.1 million in production. Hens in lay increased from 303 million in early December 2016. For the past week the number of hens increased by 0.7 million. The total egg-flock comprises 315.2 million including hens in molt and small flocks. Generic shell-egg stock increased by 8 percent reflecting the balance between demand and production. Dried-egg inventory of 29.4 million pounds as of December 31st is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products at 35.8 million pounds.   

   
 

FSNS paid tribute to the UEP and its membership for the privilege of serving as a Preferred Vendor.

Feb 10, 2017

    

FSNS would like to thank all UEP members for our fifth year as a Preferred Vendor! The building of friends and long-standing partnerships has been invaluable for our growth as an organization, and we sincerely appreciate the opportunity.

Whether assays for Salmonella Enteritidis or avian influenza, FSNS is a one-stop resource for all testing needs.

  

Happy New Year and please don’t hesitate to contact<jeff.carpenter@fsns.com> with any questions or needs.

   
 

Japan Reports on Additional Avian Influenza Cases

Feb 10, 2017

    

Authorities in Japan depleted approximately 30,000 hens at two poultry farms in Saga Prefecture representing the tenth reported case of H5N6 avian Influenza. 

The process of depletion and disposal took approximately one day with the assistance of the military.  To date five Prefectures have reported cases of H5N6 HPAI.

  

   
 

Central Europe Reports Additional Cases of HPAI

Feb 10, 2017

    

Authorities in the Czech Republic depleted 20,000 ducks and other poultry at a farm 60 miles south of Prague in an area of dense poultry production. 

To date 20 units have been depleted with a total of 37,000 birds suggesting small farms with most likely free-range or outside access.

   
   
 

USDA DATA ON CAGE-FREE PRODUCTION

Feb 10, 2017

    

Based on the growing importance of cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issues a monthly report on volumes and prices for the information of Industry stakeholders.

EGG-CITE will summarize and comment on data and trends in a monthly Cage-Free Report, supplementing the information presented weekly in the Production and Pricing Report.

  

The report for the month of January 2017 issued on February 6th 2017 provides the following data:-

Flock Size (million hens)

January ‘17*       October ‘16

Certified Organic

14.1                 13.5

Cage-free hens

23.5                 17.0

Total non-caged

37.6                  30.5

*Unchanged from previous month suggesting that USDA is determining hen population quarterly.

Rate of lay   75.5 percent

Average weekly production (1,000 cases)

Certified Organic

206,996

Cage-free

344,993

Total non-caged

551,989

 

Average Wholesale Contract Price C-F, L. Brown

$1.58/doz. (was $1.64)

Range  (unchanged)

$1.30 to $1.95/doz

 

Average Advertised National Retail Price C-F, L, Brown

$2.94/doz

USDA 6-Region

High (S. West)

$4.04/doz.

 

Low (S’east)

$2.59/doz.

   
 

Post Holdings Reports on Q1 of FY 2017

Feb 10, 2017

    

In a press release dated February 2nd Post Holdings (POST) the holding Company for the Michael Foods Group announced results for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal 2017 ending December 31st 2016.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)

   
   
 

WAL-MART GOES HIGH TECH IN FLORIDA

Feb 10, 2017

    

According to the January 26th edition of Supermarket News, the new 190,000 ft2 Walmart Supercenter near Orlando, FL. will feature mobile Scan & Go technology and a drive-thru pickup lane for on-line ordering.

In consistency with the local demographic, a 60-seat organic restaurant will be incorporated near the produce department.

  

   
 

AEB ADOPTS 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN

Feb 10, 2017

    

The American Egg Board has adopted a Strategic Plan for 2017, recently approved by the Board at a meeting held concurrently with the IPPE in Atlanta.

The Plan will include the following components:

  • Exports- both shell eggs and egg products will be promoted aggressively in existing and new markets
  • Schools – eggs will be promoted for school menus and experts and consultants will encourage egg servings based on nutritional quality and convenience
  • Active and healthy lifestyle- consumers will be educated on the research conducted by the Egg Nutrition Center by incorporation in diverse marketing messages directed to specific demographics
  • Multicultural- Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of multicultural consumption representing an annual U.S. total of $1.5 trillion in purchasing power
  • Millennials- messages developed by the AEB will focus on millennials as an important consuming group
  

In commenting on the Strategic Plan, Blair Van Zetten, 2017 Chairman of the AEB commented on the long-term increase in domestic consumption.  In his message to producers, he noted, “Because of our new strategic focus on growth areas and the dynamic leadership by the new CEO, Anne L. Alonzo and her team, I am confident that there are no boundaries for AEB in 2017”.

   
 

USDA REMOVES INSPECTION REPORTS FROM WEBSITE

Feb 10, 2017

    

According to news reports, on Friday, February 3rd the USDA-APHIS removed reports of inspections and other data relating to the welfare of animals in laboratories, zoos and breeding operations.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service responsible for oversight invoked a privacy law for the decision which apparently was a result of a review conducted in 2016 during the previous Administration.

  

Information which was previously available to the public and more significantly to activist animal rights organizations must now be accessed by using the Freedom of Information Act.

Naturally the USDA decision created vigorous criticism from PETA and the HSUS which have used the information on the USDA-APHIS website for their campaigns against research laboratories, zoos and legitimate dog breeders.

   
 

LAMPLIGHTER AWARDS BY USPOULTRY

Feb 10, 2017

    

Three worthy recipients were honored with the USPOULTRY Lamplighter Award at the 2017 International Poultry Expo.  The Honorees are:

  • Dr. Carol Cardona; University of Minnesota.  Dr. Cardona holds the Pomeroy Endowed Chair in Avian Health at the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Minnesota.
  • Dr. John Carey; Professor in the Department of Poultry Science at Texas A & M University and Head of the Department of Poultry Science.
  • Paul Presley; Executive Vice President of Industry Programs for USPOULTRY responsible for Technical Services including food safety and production, environmental and educational programs.   
 

Paul Hill, outgoing Chairman of USPOULTRY stated, “We value the commitment and support of this year’s Lamplighter Award Recipients, they have enthusiastically dedicated themselves to contributing to the Poultry Industry and we sincerely appreciate their service”.

   
 

2017 OFFICERS OF USPOULTRY ANNOUNCED

Feb 10, 2017

    

The 2017 Officers of USPOULTRY were announced at the International Poultry Expo. 

  • Jerry Moye Retired President of Cobb-Vantress was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.
  • Tom Hensley of Fieldale Farms was elected Vice Chairman
  • John Prestage of Prestage Farms was elected Chairman
  • Greg Hinton of Rose Acre Farms was elected Secretary
  • Paul Hill of West Liberty Foods will serve as the Immediate-Past Chairman