USA, Laurel, Mississippi. Sanderson Farms, Inc. reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 31, 2016.
According to Sanderson, despite lower prices for the full fiscal year, overall market prices for poultry products were higher in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 compared with prices a year ago, primarily as a result of improved export demand. As measured by an average of the Georgia Dock price for whole chickens, prices were lower by approximately 4.0% in the Company's fourth fiscal quarter compared with the same period in fiscal 2015, and were lower by 2.7% for the fiscal year compared with the prior year.
The Georgia Dock whole bird price remained relatively strong during fiscal 2016, consistent with continued strong demand for retail grocery chill pack products and flat production. Boneless breast meat prices averaged 7.4% higher in the fourth quarter than the prior-year period.
For the full fiscal year, however, boneless prices were 12.5% lower when compared with fiscal 2015, reflecting continued weakness in food service demand. Unlike demand for chicken at retail grocery stores, food service demand remains relatively weak and somewhat volatile. Jumbo wing prices averaged $1.62 per pound during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, up 9.5% from the average of $1.48 per pound during the prior-year period. Jumbo wing prices averaged $1.58 per pound during the fiscal year, up 3.9 percent from the average of $1.52 per pound for fiscal 2015.
The average market price for bulk leg quarters increased approximately 46 percent for the quarter, but decreased approximately 6.2% for fiscal 2016. Improved dark meat prices during the Company's fourth fiscal quarter reflect the increase in industry export volumes during the second half of fiscal 2016, as most all Avian Influenza related bans on United States poultry meat were lifted. Cash prices for corn during the fourth fiscal quarter decreased by 4.6%, while soybean meal cash prices were down 10.6%.