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Canada is experiencing a perfect storm when it comes to food inflation as prices rose 9.7% in April, the largest increase since September 1981, according to Statistics Canada.

Beef

May 18, 2022

Beef demand has been poor and is showing no signs of turning firmer. Meanwhile production and supplies have been ample and will stay plentiful. At the same time beef prices have suddenly become competitive compared to other meats It is interesting to note that the two middle primals [Loin & Rib] are now approaching 2015-2019 average levels and are likely to be seen as a value proposition by buyers. Beef tonnage is down more than 10% year over year across Canada, in some channels much more than 10% including foodservice.

Beef’s competitiveness on cost has significantly improved. Rising pork prices have suddenly reduced pork’s attractiveness for buyers. Chicken costs have also been rapidly rising. Beef is now cheaper than its historic norm versus chicken.

The bottom line is that demand is likely to stay weak and production abundant. Prices should stay under pressure through June.

The market call for the next few weeks is “STEADY” but potentially higher in the short term as buyers see value and stock up.

  • Ribs – Prices are moving lower.
  • Striploins – Prices are steady to higher. 
  • Top Sirloins – Prices are steady.
  • Tenderloins – Prices are steady.
  • Briskets – Prices are moving lower.
  • Chucks – Prices are moving lower.
  • Rounds – Prices are moving lower.
  • Ground Beef – Prices are steady to higher.

Check out Canada Beef Foodservice Resources Canada Beef Foodservice – Canadian Beef | Canada Beef.


Pork

May 18, 2022

North American pork market has been subdued as supplies meet weaker demand resulting in lower pricing.

Current consumer pork demand has weakened notably compared to Q1. Packer demand for hogs is pointing to weaker demand for at least June if not longer. This downtrend in demand is not surprising given overall inflation and weakening economic prospects.

The market call for the next few weeks is “Steady to Lower” based on declining demand.

  • Side Ribs – Market continues on strong seasonal upward trend.
  • Back Ribs – Prices are steady to higher.
  • Tenderloins – Prices are steady to higher.
  • Loins – Prices firmed up as product appears to be in tight supply. 
  • Hams – Prices are likely to continue lower although a bottom looks to be forming. 
  • Butts – Prices are steady to higher.
  • Picnics – Prices are steady to higher.
  • Bellies (Bacon) – Prices continue sharply lower.

Check out Delicious Pork Recipes | Ontario Pork.


Poultry

May 18, 2022

We appear to be on ‘repeat’ for the past few issues of the poultry market report. 

Boneless skinless chicken breast prices continued higher again. History suggests that there may still be a slight upward risk in chicken breast prices, but these usually peak in May while Wings usually peak in the summer months. The downward risk to wing prices seems to be limited.

We are tracking close to our poultry price forecast made back in March: Breasts: +9%, Wings 0%, Legs: +9%. 

There is currently an Avian Influenza (“Bird Flu”) Market Alert in both Canada and the US which could in future affect poultry and egg prices.

The market call for the next few weeks is “STEADY TO HIGHER.”

  • Whole Birds – Prices are moving higher.
  • Wings – Prices have continued lower. Recommend buying forward.
  • Breasts – Prices have continued to move higher.
  • Legs – Prices are steady to lower.
  • Thighs – Prices are moving higher.

Check out Chicken.ca | Raised by a Canadian Farmer.


Seafood

May 18, 2022

Some notable decreases the last few weeks in price for yellowfin tuna and Alaskan pollock specifically. Pollock is starting its seasonal decline right on schedule while yellowfin looks to be declining ahead of schedule this year. Both are good news for a seafood industry where prices have been inflated all year thanks to the war in Ukraine and China’s COVID lockdowns, among other factors. Many seafood items are adhering to their seasonal trends, meaning most are due price decreases in the coming months, but expect some eventual and possibly sharp price support across the seafood sector if the two aforementioned stories persist. 

Top ten seafood items in North America as a % of total consumption: Shrimp 26%, Salmon 15%, Canned Tuna 14%, Tilapia 6%, Alaska Pollock 5%, Cod 3%, Crab 3%, Catfish, Scallops and all other total 28%.

Remember to apply flexibility to your seafood menu to allow switching to more profitable menu opportunities.

The market call for the next few weeks is “STEADY” at continued elevated levels.

Check out Urner Barry’s On-Line Catalog or Seafood Handbook (seafoodsource.com).


We have highlighted [*] items that are experiencing significant upward pricing pressure.

Vegetables

May 18, 2022
  • Corn – Supplies have improved from Florida and California.
  • Tomatoes – Markets are trending up due to declining supplies from Mexico.
  • *Celery – Prices have increased with growing issue [seeder] in California.
  • *Bell Peppers – Green bell supplies are limited while we wait for Georgia to ramp up. Red and yellow bells are short on high demand. 
  • *Carrots – Demand continues to outpace supply especially on Jumbo Carrots and value-added packs.
  • Broccoli – Prices have moved lower on good supplies from California and Mexico.
  • Cauliflower – Prices are up slightly on tighter supplies from California. 
  • Squash & Zucchini – Prices are moving lower on improving supplies from all growing regions.
  • Cabbage – Prices are steady on good supplies.
  • *Green Beans – Prices are high on strong demand and shifting growing regions.
  • *Brussel Sprouts – Prices are up on lower supplies from Mexico while California is just coming online.
  • Asparagus – Prices are moving lower on excellent supplies.
  • Cucumber – Prices are easing as supplies have improved.
  • Lettuce – Prices are up slightly on all varieties on good demand. 
  • Melons – Cantaloupe, Honeydew, and Watermelon supplies have improved on increased production.
  • Potatoes – Markets are steady to higher as we wait on new production.
  • Onions – Prices are lower on better supplies on all varieties. 
  • Garlic – Markets are steady on good supplies.

Mushrooms

May 18, 2022
  • Mushrooms – The market remains unstable as suppliers continue to announce increases due to rising costs.

Mixed Berries

May 18, 2022
  • Strawberries – Prices are inching up on continued strong demand post Mother’s Day.
  • Raspberries – Supplies and pricing are steady. 
  • Blackberries – Supplies and pricing are steady. 
  • Blueberries – Supplies and pricing are steady.
  • Grapes – Markets are mostly steady on good supplies of most varieties. 
  • *Avocado – Prices continue higher, but supplies are expected to increase through May.

Citrus

May 18, 2022
  • Oranges – Prices are steady with good supplies.
  • Lemons – Supplies and prices are steady.
  • Limes – Prices are moving lower as all sizes are now readily available although large-size fruit is higher priced. 
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