A deadly avian flu outbreak is accelerating its spread across the US, so far killing 37 million chickens and turkeys in 32 states. At its current pace, the epidemic threatens by the end of May to surpass the last major outbreak in 2014-15, which cost an estimated $1 billion in damages.
Wholesale chicken breast prices are currently up 27% to $3.25 a pound since February 8, when the first HPAI case was reported in the US. Egg prices have increased even more, by 45%. Chicken prices were already rocketing higher before the spread of HPAI. In 2021, broiler chicken prices rose 38% over the previous year, and producers’ margins soared.
Monitoring the changing supply and prices of broiler chickens is critical for price forecasting, purchasing decisions, and long-term product planning. To help chicken buyers and broader market participants understand the drivers of poultry industry shifts across their specific use cases, Gro has put together a Broiler Chicken Monitoring Toolkit with the most up-to-date data, insights, and models.
When combined, this toolkit provides teams the ability to forecast the impact of current events such as bird flu, predict short-term price drivers, and anticipate industry shifts to better plan product strategies.
How will current events impact chicken prices in the short-term?
As of May 5, HPAI has so far affected 1.9% of all US chickens and about 7.5% of the US turkey flock. That’s a much faster rate of infection than in the 2014-15 outbreak, which in the same amount of time hit just 0.01% of the nation’s chickens.
To help teams monitor the outbreak, Gro lets users see daily bird counts by flock type and species through maps and charts in our Bird Flu Outbreak Monitor, a curated display freely accessible to all teams. With a Gro subscription, the monitor can be viewed alongside information on state-level flock size and species, prices of chicken and competing meats, rates of wholesale production and retail advertisements, and even temperature changes that affect the migratory birds that spread the disease.
What will impact my purchasing decisions?
To incorporate shifting chicken prices into buying and selling decisions, market participants can use our Custom Price Index Application, sold separately, which enables users to create a price index based on a food product’s key ingredients and weightings data (using historical context to the present). With the app, users can see year-over-year price changes and compare those changes to a broader food price inflation index.
Additionally, you can leverage the Gro platform to drill into wholesale prices, retail prices, prices of competing meats, and prices abroad. You can modify the charts Gro has made, and you can create completely custom charts that show just the information you regularly check.
For example, create a chart specific to retail tenderloin prices or a group of charts to track chicken’s benchmark wholesale prices.
What will impact my product decisions in the long term?
Gro’s extensive data on supply flocks and production can show what will impact chicken prices in the long-term future.
Gro’s Corn and Soybean Yield Models, covering the US, Brazil, and Argentina and accessed with a Premium level subscription, can provide visibility into the supply and prices of chicken feed, which impacts both chicken price and supply. Gro’s Supply Location Monitor, sold separately, provides additional US production and price information for corn and soybeans through a systematic, unbiased view by location.
Our Broiler Chicken Margin Monitor Application, sold separately, provides users with a comprehensive view of industry profitability and the likelihood of future changes in broiler chicken prices and supplies, helping users forecast the magnitude and direction of prices up to 19 months in advance of price movements.
In June 2021, for example, the Broiler Chicken Margin Monitor showed the average US margin at 19 cents per pound of ready-to-cook chicken, 10 cents higher than the 10-year average. By seeing the historical relationship between margins and supply, a user learns that–absent the bird flu premium and economy-wide inflation–these high margins are pressuring chicken prices by driving up supply.
Knowing what is driving prices in the long term allows the user to see industry shifts that may impact their product decisions.
Together, Gro’s offering will provide deeper visibility into the factors causing poultry price changes and enable more accurate price forecasting and industry decision-making throughout the year.
Schedule a demo of our toolkit here, or reach out to a member of our team for more information here.