MarketPULSE June/July 2021

Table of contents

Introduction

Say hello to darker mornings, shorter days and cooler weather because winter is finally here! In regards to meat, the domestic market continues to see beef shortages across the board, which has resulted in pricing remaining stable yet at levels higher than historical patterns. No drastic changes have happened as a result of these extended shortages. Cooler temperatures across the Victorian countryside may impact the quality of lamb, which will impact price. Pressure on beef, chicken and lamb pricing and supply has kept pork supply front-of-mind for customers. There will be some concessions on certain cuts due to seasonality. A colder than expected autumn has led to increased pig weights which may increase the size of certain parts of the pig. In regards to seafood, the local wild caught Barramundi catch numbers have increased as the season progresses, mainly due to favourable weather conditions. Fish are plentiful, with more than 75% of catches in the premium small to medium size range. The spring fishery is now open and the catch rates are strong which suggests it will be a short season. Shore prices dropped slightly but are still relatively high. The availability of processed lobster products, such as tails and meats, is increasing but at a very slow pace, so prices are still inflated. 

Meat

Beef

The domestic market continues to see beef shortages across the board resulting in pricing to remain stable yet at levels higher than historical patterns. No drastic changes have happened as a result of these extended shortages.

The lack of change has seen pricing on loin cuts, which traditionally ease during the cooler months, remain firm on price. It would be thought that these trends will continue as the national herd continues to be low and most definitely still in the rebuild stage.

The main impact of shortages and higher than standard levels is a direct result of reduced numbers currently being processed due to high restocker demand along with strong pricing of animals.

As it gets cooler, the number of cows to the processor may see a small rise. However, this will not have an impact on the current market.

The increased demand from Australian export markets such as Korea and Japan has been steady over the past months as they return from extended shutdowns due to COVID-19.

Lamb

Victorian lamb prices have lifted across most categories.

Cooler temperatures across the Victorian countryside may impact the quality of lambs, which will impact price.

Turnoff weights will be an important consideration for producers seeking to find the best margins.

Aside from excellent seasonal conditions, market confidence has been delivered via the export market and sustained demand.

Pork

With pressure on beef, chicken and lamb pricing and supply, pork supply has been front-of-mind for customers.

There will be some concessions on certain cuts due to seasonality. A colder than expected autumn has led to increased pig weights which may increase the size of certain parts of the pig.

Poultry

The demand for chicken products continues to grow and is anticipated to continue into the foreseeable future.

Chicken is a natural, cheaper alternative to other meat products like lamb and beef. Such demand has created supply pressures which has seen the cost of boning birds increase.

23278 June July newsletter MEAT

Seafood

All information provided is correct at time of submission and is subject to change due to unpredictable circumstances. Adverse weather conditions, currency fluctuations and other market influences, which are difficult to predict accurately, can impact pricing and supply on very short notice.

Salmon

Norwegian Atlantic Salmon

2021 has seen high volatility in pricing and harvest volumes week to week. Biomass for the coming months will be stable. However, the generation to be harvested from late July is still bigger in size and numbers. This may assist with contract negotiations for August to November production. We normally see increased harvest and demand during this period, but with lower and more stable prices. COVID-19 vaccinations are rapidly increasing in Europe. This increase has given farmers hope and salmon demand expectations will increase more than forecasted. Overall, the foodservice sector in Europe will start buying again. However, increase in demand in retail is currently unclear and this situation must be followed closely. Norway’s biggest producers are increasing their volumes. The volume in Chile is reducing which will affect the United States market and the frozen markets in Asia.

Barramundi

Local Wild Caught

Catch numbers have increased as the season progresses, due mainly to favourable weather conditions. Fish are plentiful, with more than 75% of catches in the premium small to medium size range.

 

These catch rates are a good sign moving into the winter months as a combination of factors will contribute to producing good catches well into the middle to late part of the year. One key factor contributing to this is a late and extended wet season, with many rivers experiencing run-off well after February. There will be good-sized fish caught and the flesh will be of high quality with salt levels increasing in the water.

Imported

Adverse weather and the effects of COVID-19 restrictions continue to impact the supply of imported  Barramundi fillets, particularly in the 100/200 and 200/300 grades, which are now all but depleted with most importers.   Processing capacity was severely reduced due to social distancing regulations related to COVID-19, causing delayed harvesting with a large percentage of the Barramundi biomass too big to produce the required quantities of the most popular grades 100/200 and 200/300 fillets. The rise in raw material prices and other associated costs, including shipping, has seen pricing increase. It is anticipated that the supply situation will start slowly improving after that time.

Basa

There is an increase in pangasius farm cost, primarily due to the increase in feed price and fingerlings, which has led to an increase in the price of raw material.

The pangasius market has recovered after the negative impact of COVID-19. It’s very clear that demand from the United States and some other countries like China and Brazil have been increasing. Export price is higher and will increase in the upcoming months.

Flathead

The supply of flathead fillets continues to be limited, with fresh stock expected to be available to the Australian market from the beginning of July. Supply generally has been short with a greater percentage of smaller fillets 2/4oz from the fishery. The large size 6/8oz is almost unavailable. Overall, demand has increased internationally for raw material for value-adding (beer-batter flathead and crumbed variations).

Scallops

Peru

There has been new production at vastly increased prices (approx. 57%), but still much cheaper than all other competitors. Product has been very short with a preference to produce roe-less scallops for the coming summer sales in the United States. The more recent orders placed for Peru roe-on scallops have taken a very long time to complete and ship out. However, the market seems to have accepted the higher levels after having heard of the pricing levels in China.

Japan

Prices of current holding stocks have increased, with very little being shipped to China for further processing.

China

Prices of roe-on scallops have increased, perhaps due to the huge increase in freight costs and time-wasting storage costs at ports in China. It is anticipated pricing will increase further with the shortage of supply expected, especially for roe-on. Shell stock coming from Japan is still being delayed in various ports due to COVID-19 testing. Prices are substantially higher than Peru, although, once Peruvian producers realise this it is anticipated they will follow suit.

Canadian - frozen at sea

The scallop fishery is proceeding with demand in all markets being very strong and with fairly big upswings in pricing in all markets. The United States market is quite short of the largest scallops (u10’s). With less supply (mostly less from the United States) and with more foodservice operations opening in North America and Europe. Demand and prices are expected to remain strong through the remainder of the year.

Local - Queensland

The local scallop fishery has basically finished and will not restart until November 2021. All product being produced is from limited frozen at sea scallop shell stock holdings. Sizes for large scallops are limited and all prices have increased.

Canadian Lobster

The spring fishery is now open and the catch rates are strong which suggests it will be a short season. Shore prices dropped a bit but are still relatively high. The availability of processed lobster products, such as tails and meats, is increasing but at a very slow pace, so prices are still inflated. 

Florida Lobster

The 2021 Florida Lobster season re-starts on 6 August. Chinese demand for both live and frozen lobster is expected to be strong as celebrations and major events resume. Hopes are for a return to typical catch volumes as most markets keenly await new season offers.

Western Australia Lobster

Although Western Australia Lobster is not yet legally able to be shipped live to China, there have still been significant volumes of live exports. Official channels for China have now opened for frozen production which is expected to provide a much higher pricing floor for their preferred sizes above 500g and potentially also follow to smaller sizes.

With new season quota starting from 1 July, the industry is still unlikely to see major catching volumes again until November/December with the start of the ‘whites’ run. Until that time, frozen inventories are expected to be limited.

Prawns

Imported

Thailand whole cooked

The main harvest season is from May to August and may vary year to year based on when the farmers seed the ponds with baby shrimp. Also, weather can impact growth rates and therefore harvest timing.

For 2021 the main harvest is on track and the bulk of production would normally occur between June and August. However, we expect farmers to hold harvesting and grow out the majority of the biomass to larger grades U/15 and U/10. This will delay the peak harvesting season and is expected to occur between August and September. If the trend follows previous normal years, from October supply will become limited and the price will firm.

Raw prawn cutlets/meat

It is the high harvesting season of Vannamei in Vietnam. However, the raw material price is only slightly lower than the first quarter because the farming cost increased, primarily due to the increase of feed price.

Demand has been sharply increased due to the better COVID-19 control in the United States, Europe and some other countries and the shortage of supply from India.

As a result, prawn price is likely to increase in the coming months, especially with the larger grades of prawn. 

Local

East Coast and Torres Straight Tigers and Kings

East Coast Tiger catches have been low and with limited availability of other local prawns prices remain high. East Coast King Prawns were hoped to soften after Easter. However, the continued low catch rates have kept prices at high levels. This is of concern as it will be difficult to build inventory to cover the summer selling period. Low catches in the Gulf will keep all local prawn prices at a high level. Large grades U/6 and U/8 have remained at Christmas levels.

Banana Prawns

The Banana season started 1 April. Catches of the popular grade 10/20 is normally 60 to 70% of the catch. This year the 10/20 grade has yielded only 10 to 15% of the catch.

Therefore, the number of prawns landed is similar to a normal season. However, due to 80% of the catch being of a smaller grade, the total kilo landings is approximately 40% lower.

Prices are at record highs. However, with limited supply the market has accepted the price and the stock is not expected to last for the 2022 season start.

Bugs

Local Queensland

The bug season has not improved with limited stock prices remaining at record levels.

New Zealand fish supply

Hoki

Hoki season is now underway with sufficient fishing quota remaining to ensure ample supply later in the year. Stock is plentiful across all size ranges and will continue to be supplemented by additional quota/landing of Australian Blue Grenadier.

Smooth Dory

Dory fishing finished at the beginning of the year, yielding relatively larger than normal fish. Availability remains high across all size fillets.

New Zealand mussels

International demand for New Zealand mussels is increasing as restaurants re-open around the world, particularly in the United States.

There are signs of prices starting to increase. However, these increases are not expected to impact markets over the next three to four months. These rises are expected to influence the market when the new season starts in October.  

New Zealand oysters

Harvests have increased as winter approaches and water temps cool. Facilities are at 90% capacity as rainfall closures limit supply. Sizes are predominately standard and medium (approx. 60 to 70%) with large-super jumbo making up the balance of the mix.

Oyster conditions are good for this time of year and more wild oysters are being processed, which is promising for potential incremental supply and larger sizes. New Zealand demand continues to grow as bubbles open to visitors from Australia and the Cook Islands, with export demand also lifting as northern hemisphere supply starts to increase. 

Sizing is still relatively small, with 70 to 80% of the product falling in the standard to medium range. However, the percentage of large to super jumbo sizes is increasing week to week. Demand is still strong in live markets of Russia and China as their local supply starts to taper off heading into the northern hemisphere summer. Going forward, more demand is expected from all markets as size availability improves into winter.

Squid

Argentina Illex

The new season for Illex catches has been positive. However, the market for Illex in Australia has waned as buyers have been purchasing Japan Common Squid, Gigas and New Zealand Squid.

New Zealand Arrow

The season started very well with at least 6000MT landed, of which at least 1000MT were a very small size and sold at a much higher than anticipated price to China for processing into heads and tentacles for the United States and Canada markets. Increased sales to the United States are due to the shortage and very high price of Californian squid. There is at least 4000MT already secured but still stuck in New Zealand cold stores awaiting empty containers, which have been very hard to obtain to ship to China for re-processing into tentacles and tubes.

Japan Common (Todarodes)

There are very low stocks as last season failed, yielding about 40% of expected landing. The new season is in August, the first catch will be smaller grades. Late August and October will see huge fishing efforts.

Gigas

The pricing of this species did not increase, mainly due to a decline in demand from those countries that remain in lockdown. As a result, plenty of raw material stock remains, ensuring stable prices with maybe a slight increase toward the end of the year. At present, the catches of the large grades are going very well from the inshore waters of Peru.

23278 June July newsletter SEAFOOD 2

Potatoes

Market developments according to World Potato Markets:

There was a 10.3% drop in South American exports to 205, 952 tonnes largely due to a 10.9% fall in Argentine shipments. Australasian exports were down 18.2% to 70, 351 tonnes, with New Zealand sales 20.7% lower 60, 603 tonnes and Australian trade up 1.8% to 9, 748 tonnes.

Continental Europe

Early 2021 figures show that trade is still down on pre-pandemic levels with a high number of COVID-19 cases in Europe having a major impact on demand.

Sales to European countries with large tourist industries experienced a large decline in demand, with Spanish imports down by more than a quarter.

Estimates show a drop in frozen product exports of nearly 10% ending more than a decade of growth for the product. Sales were mostly hit in regions of the world that have been most affected by the virus including Europe and Central America.

After falling European prices, there are signs of a small turnaround in the market.

23278 June July newsletter POTATO

Wheat

Market developments according to Mauri ANZ:

Domestic

Western Australia received favourable rainfall but slightly less than expected.

Capture

Global

United States PNW FOB hard wheat jumped US$12/T, French soft wheat and United States futures firmed US$6/T.

Prices have firmed with forecasts for cold weather in the United States and recent cold weather in France.

Russian wheat forecasts have started to increase estimate of the improving Russian crop. Ukraine-Russian political tensions provided mild market support.

High protein (13%) wheat premiums continue to firm with dry conditions across the southern Canadian prairies and northern United States. Australian protein premiums have yet to follow in the new crop.

23278 June July newsletter WHEAT

Dairy

Market developments according to Anchor Food Professionals Global Dairy Intelligence Group

Imports and exports:

New Zealand

Dairy exports increased by 1.1%, or 3,203 MT, compared to the same period last year.

The increase was due to higher volumes of fluid milk product and WMP to China, up a combined 15,141 MT. This was partially offset by a decrease in SMP and butter, down 12,760 MT.

Milk production for the last 12 months was 0.8% higher than last year.

Australia

Dairy exports increased 16.6%, or 8,547 MT, compared to the same period last year.

The increase was driven by continuing demand from China in fluid milk products, up 8,505 MT.

Milk production for the last 12 months was 3.0% higher than last year.

China

Imports were up 18.1%, or 549,248 MT, driven by whey, fluid milk products, WMP and SMP.

Dairy import volumes increased 25.8%, or 81,391 MT, compared to the same period the previous year.

Asia

Decreases were recorded across WMP, SMP, fluid products and whey, down a combined 191,561 MT, and offset partially by increased volumes in lactose, up 46,994 MT.

Dairy import volumes increased 0.8%, or 3,014 MT, compared to the same period the previous year.

All information provided is correct at time of publication and is subject to change due to unpredictable circumstances. Adverse weather conditions, currency fluctuations and other market influences which are difficult to predict accurately, that can impact pricing and supply. E&O.E

23278 June July newsletter DAIRY

References