Urner Barry analyst Russ Whitman noted Thursday that activity is gradually returning to the turkey market.
“After a brief respite, buyers and sellers of whole-body toms and hens are going back to the negotiating table for a look at what the year might hold in store,” he reported.
Whitman said whole-bird supplies have been held in check by an increasing emphasis on the production of turkey parts and meat, which makes negotiating whole-bird values more demanding. With each passing year, the first stage of the process is more crucial to a favorable year-end result, he added.
“What this has meant to participants is that discussions around the bargaining table are beginning earlier — right about now, as a matter of fact.”
For the past four years, Whiteman said whole-body turkeys have bottomed at their seasonal lows by the middle of January. If this trend continues, the 2016 yearly low is within reach, he noted.
However, this year could be different, according to Whitman.
“Existing quotations reside at record highs -- by far. Depending on one's vantage point, this either means a floor will be well above last year and within reach or that a more extended haggling process is in store, therefore pushing the immediate market's bottom a little further from our grasp,” he explained.