Commodity Insights

Cleveland Research Company provides forward looking insights into the protein commodity markets to help meat buyers and sellers make the best possible decisions with respect to beef, pork, and chicken market dynamics. Our forecasts are based on in-depth discussions and advanced statistical analysis.

CRC Differentiators

Real Time

CRC’s daily interaction with industry participants enables us to uncover business inflections early and provide insights on the changing landscape when our customers need it most. In today’s rapidly changing meat markets, being in the know is more important than ever.

Forward Looking

CRC’s research focuses on what’s coming vs. what has already happened to guide strategy and long-term planning. We use qualitative insights to complement advanced quantitative models for forecasting protein prices.

Macro View

CRC’s insights provide a holistic view of the channels we cover, various related end markets, and the overall consumer environment. Our insights into macroeconomics and specific industries such as foodservice, retail, and agriculture provide a full picture of the supply and demand landscape for key proteins.

Near Term Upside for Pork Bellies 5.4.21

The price of the pork belly primal dropped suddenly after passing $2.00/lb. last month. Early year strength seems to have been driven by front loaded purchasing activity, especially in the foodservice sector. Our analysis of supply and demand trends indicates we could see demand renewal and increasing prices again before the end of May.

2021 Protein Inflation Updates

2021 Protein Inflation Updates 4.22.21

We are raising our 2021 meat inflation forecasts for chicken and pork, while our beef inflation forecast remains mostly unchanged. Common themes across the three major proteins (chicken, beef, and pork) include strong demand in both retail and foodservice, tighter labor markets, limited production expansion, and a short term boost from stimulus payments.

Chicken Situation and Outlook 4.21.21

Chicken markets have been on the rise this year due to limited industry expansion and incredibly strong demand. In our presentation at the Livestock Marketing Information Conference this year we discussed what’s driving the chicken markets and what to expect moving forward. Please reach out to our analysts, Sarah and Mike (contact information below), for more information on what we discussed at the conference.

Ground Beef Upside Potential 4.8.21

Ground Beef Upside Potential 4.8.21

Much like our call on briskets in February, we view ground beef as underpriced relative to both competing proteins and correlated items within the beef complex. In addition to seasonal trends supporting ground beef into grilling season, we view changing retail dynamics as favorable to ground beef promotions this year.

Pork Market Drivers 3.12.21

ASF appears to be returning at an accelerated rate in China and limiting the magnitude of the recovery in China’s pork industry. Our work suggests much less than half of the US pork industry has started to shift its production practices to be in compliance with CA Prop 12 mandates. We are forecasting 6-8% pork price inflation in 2021 and see significant inflation in belly and ham primals, but deflation in the loin primal.

Beef Brisket Upside Potential 2.25.21

We believe briskets are underpriced in the current marketplace for beef, trending at three year lows while competing and correlated items have spiked. Our work suggests that the cattle cycle has peaked and we expect relatively flat US beef production in 2021. There is reason to be optimistic about brisket demand across all channels as foodservice demand improves, retailers prepare for grilling season, and export demand is strengthening.

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CRC Commodity Team


Sarah Havala
Council Director /
Research Associate
Cleveland Research Company
Email Sarah
Michael Piken
Senior Research Analyst
Cleveland Research Company
Email Michael

Cleveland Research Company

1375 E 9th St #2700
Cleveland, OH 44114