Agribusiness Weekly Update: Egg prices rise ahead of Easter

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 117 views 

Table Eggs
The egg margin averaged 38 cents per dozen, 21 cents higher than a year ago. Southeast egg
prices were $1.09 per dozen, up 22 cents from a year ago. Prices in the most current week are trending 15 cents higher to $1.24 per dozen as retail and foodservice demand remains moderate to good thanks to the upcoming Easter holiday period.

The chicken processing margin averaged 1 cent  a pound, 10-cents better than a year ago. Broiler egg sets were down 5.6% to 196.9 million eggs. Heads slaughtered declined 4.3% year over year, while pounds produced fell 2.2%. Chicken in cold storage at the end of February declined 16.3% on a year-over-year basis. Positively, breast meat cold storage was down 16.9% versus last year.

U.S. beef packers lost $68.58 per head processed, versus $64.81 earned a year ago. Cattle slaughter was down 4.4%, while beef production fell 1.5%from a year ago.. Live cattle prices were up 9% year-over-year. Beef experts believe the (lean finely textured beef) issue will likely dampen packer margins and weaken beef demand. LFTB represents about 3% of U.S. beef production and 8% of all ground beef. Retail choice beef prices remain at an all-time high still trending above $5 a pound.

Hogs & Pork
Pork processors lost $6.23 per head last week, compared to $17.67 profited last year. Weekly hog slaughter numbers rose 0.9%, while pork production increased 0.8% compared to 2011. The retail price for pork in February was $3.50 per pound, up 6% from last year.
Cash corn prices finished the week down 26 cents to $6.44per bushel and 3.2% lower than a year ago. Soybean prices fell 7 cents to $13.45 per bushel, up 1.4% from a year ago. The USDA is set to release the March Plantings report and the Quarterly Grain Stocks report on Friday, Mar. 30.

Class I milk price for April set a new 15-month low at $15.66, down 19.4% from last year. Retail milk price averaged $3.50, up from $3.30 a year ago.

Ethanol & Energy
The ethanol crush margin averaged 38 cents per gallon, up 14 cents from last week and 21 cents above last year. Ethanol averaged $2.29 per gallon, trading at a $1.09 discount to gasoline. It’s the largest discount to gasoline since June 2008.