Pilgrim’s Pride Says Chicken Markets Are Volatile and Challenging

(Bloomberg) -- Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., the second-biggest U.S. chicken producer, said poultry markets were “volatile” and “challenging” due to the spread of Covid-19 in its first quarter earnings statement.

The company didn’t address the worker illnesses and reduction of plant capacity that’s currently plaguing the industry.

Key Insights

  • Pilgrim’s beat estimates, helped by improved European operations and increased business in non-commodity products
  • The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the chicken industry with plants running at reduced capacity. Workers are ailing or in quarantine, and they are staying away from work on health concerns
  • The large bird de-boning market was “especially volatile,” according to the statement, as food-service demand plunged amid restaurant closures
  • Wholesale pork and beef output has slumped, boosting prices, and that may bolster demand for chicken, said Heather Jones of Heather Jones Research
  • Chicken-breast prices have plunged, recently touching the lowest since 2018 in USDA data

Market Reaction

  • Pilgrim’s, down more than 30% this year, rose more than 4% after the market close Wednesday

Get More

  • Click here for the earnings statement
  • Conference call 9am NY Thursday (844) 883-3889

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