Agribusiness Weekly Update: Beef losses continue

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 111 views 

The chicken processing margin averaged 3 cents a pound, 16-cents better than a year ago. Broiler egg sets were down 6.1% to 194.8 million eggs. Heads slaughtered declined 7.2% year over year, while pounds produced fell 6.7%. Chicken in cold storage at the end of January declined 20.8% on a year-over-year basis.

Table Eggs
The egg margin averaged 25 cents per dozen, 3 cents below last year. Southeast egg prices were 95 cents a dozen, down 12 cents from a year ago.

Cash corn prices finished the week down 3 cents to $6.40 per bushel and 3.5% cheaper than a year ago. Soybean prices jumped 11 cents to $12.62 per bushel. Prices fell 2% from last year.

U.S. beef packers lost $44.54 per head processed, versus $28.03 lost a year ago. Cattle slaughter fell 9.2% compared to last year, while beef production was down 7.7%.
Cattle futures set an all-time high of $1.315 a pound on Feb. 22 in Chicago. The retail price of all fresh beef in January hit a record $4.64 per pound, up 9.0% from last year.

Hogs & Pork
Pork processors lost $1.73 per head last week, compared to $15.89  profited last year.
Weekly hog slaughter numbers rose 0.6%, while pork production increased 0.5% compared to 2011.

Dairy prices are under pressure due to buoyant production and weak fluid milk consumption. Diminishing demand is currently being reflected in the March 12 Class III contract which has declined 7.7% in February to close the week at $15.28 per/cwt.

Ethanol & Energy
The ethanol crush margin averaged 37 cents per gallon, down 12 cents from last year and 2 cents below  last week. Ethanol averaged $2.24 per gallon, trading at a 92-cent discount to gasoline.