CME: January Chicken Prices Trod Along

US - Retail chicken prices have "trod steadily along" in the New Year, according to Len Steiner and Steve Meyer looking over January's market data.
calendar icon 2 March 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

January’s composite broiler prices was $1.978 per retail pound, 0.8 per cent lower than that of December but 2.1 per cent higher than one year ago, they write.

Last year’s much noted productivity challenges allowed prices to remain strong and set the stage for wholesale prices that promise to be very profitable in 2015.

Note the steadiness of the retail broiler price in the top chart. Having 8 week egg set to finished bird and 8 month breeder chick to finished bird cycles certainly provides some advantages!

Finally, we note again that the turkey price shown here is for whole birds and is not indicative of the robust markets we have witnessed in recent years for turkey parts and value-added turkey products. We show the price because it is all we have and, based on the miniscule amount of adaptation to the modern world we have seen in these BLS/ERS retail prices in the past, probably all we will have in the future.

So, beef’s a bad deal for consumers now? Depends on the perspective. Relative to other proteins, beef is no doubt pricey. But, while deflated beef prices have indeed risen from 2004-2012, they are still lower than back in the early 1980s! Deflated pork prices are at their highest levels since 1990 while chicken remains very near its all-time lows of 2011.

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