Chickens steady: While some key U.S. Department of Agriculture chicken data were not yet available at press time given the extended federal government shutdown, prices appeared to be mostly steady. Stocks remained fairly closely balanced across the country. In the Northeast, boneless/skinless breast prices were established last Thursday at $1.55-1.60/lb., with tenderloins at $1.70-1.75. Bulk leg quarters averaged 49 cents, and whole wings were slightly more than $1.58/lb. USDA will not release its monthly "Chicken & Eggs" report until Oct. 31, but the "Poultry Slaughter" report will be released, as scheduled, Oct. 24.
Turkeys firm: Frozen 8-16 lb. hens and 16-24 lb. toms showed some improvement by the end of last week, with prices steady to higher. On a national basis, prices were $1.03-1.11 FOB, 5-6 cents stronger than prices reported by U.S. Department of Agriculture prior to the federal shutdown. USDA said the market on turkey breast meat and tenderloins was steady, as was demand for most turkey parts as of last Thursday's trade.
Eggs holding: Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture egg report will be delayed until the end of the month, the market on eggs seemed firm as of last Thursday's trade. Prices in the Northeast were higher on medium grades, although prices were unsettled on larger sizes. Midwest prices were steady to firm last week, with medium warehouse prices mostly 88-91 cents/doz., large sizes mostly $1.01-1.04 and extra-large sizes mostly $1.03-1.06. Prices paid to producers were mostly 73 cents/doz. for medium and 85 cents for large grades.