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.
Last week’s USDA WASDE report was bullish for grain prices. Corn yields were again lower, at 122.0 bushels per acre, down from 122.8 bpa last month. The USDA slashed corn supplies by 16.3 percent to just 988 million bushels to begin the 2012-2013 crop year. Corn futures, which had declined to $7.36 pre-report, soared to $7.73 on Thursday before a weak export report sent prices lower again to $7.52 on Friday.
High grains prices are taking a toll on protein producers. The USDA is forecasting fourth-quarter beef output to decline 3.3 percent from a year ago. 2013 beef production is projected 3.7 percent lower than 2012. Pork output for 2013 is slightly improved but still 1.3 percent below 2012. Broiler output is projected to decline 1.3 percent in 2012 and decrease another 0.8 percent in 2013. The USDA did not change its protein price forecasts for 2013.
Contact John T. Barone at firstname.lastname@example.org.