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Wholesale turkey prices remain lower than past years

Production continues above year-ago levels despite continued low prices.

Whole turkey prices in 2017 fell relative to 2016 and have remained strikingly flat since January, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s July “Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook.”

“Typically, wholesale turkey prices have a seasonal trend, with prices climbing from their bottom level in the beginning of the year to a peak near Thanksgiving,” the report noted.

USDA

Between 2013 and 2015, June whole turkey prices averaged 8% higher than in January, but the average price for a whole frozen hen in June this year was actually slightly below January’s price. Prices for breast meat are also below 2016 levels, indicating that demand may not be keeping up with current supply levels, USDA said.

“Sustained low prices are often a signal to producers to slow the pace of growth, but production in 2017 has remained above 2016 levels through the first half of the year. It is unclear whether the declines in the wholesale market will translate to reduced retail prices leading up to Thanksgiving,” USDA reported.

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