Poultry output likely to decrease in 2013

In this weekly Commodities Watch column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.

Chicken breast was the “go-to” protein for foodservice in 2012 and will probably make or break us in 2013.

Last week’s USDA poultry report showed YTD (through September) broiler output at 27.88 lbs., falling 1.8 percent from last year. A recent year-over-year uptick in the number of chicks placed portends larger production for the fourth quarter. But breeder inventories have been pared down to 16-year lows, and producers’ financials will worsen further in 2013.

The USDA is projecting broiler output to decline 1.3 percent in 2012 and decline by another 0.8 percent in 2013. Most private forecasts project 2013 output decreasing 1 percent to 2 percent, but those projections are entirely dependent on the 2012-2013 corn crop.

Soy oil is currently a great buy through spring 2013 with December futures at $0.4926, January at $0.4965 and March at $0.5011. Similarly, coffee is trading below $1.60 through March and warrants contracting consideration.

Contact John T. Barone at [email protected] [3].