Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads

January 7, 2018

Beef

Beef prices and cutouts advanced during the post-holiday week. End cuts contributed largely to the gains, as buyers sought fill-in inventory to cover near term beef roast features. Thins meats saw support develop, mainly driven from the supply side given the holiday-curtailed production schedules. Both select and choice loin values moved higher, with select values posting decent gains. Shortened holiday production the previous two weeks played into packers firming their spot market offerings of all grade of ribs. Select ribs found strong support as far as values are concerned, as select grading remains light as compared to past seasonal trends. Loin primal values continue to push higher. All cuts from the loin section of the carcass including thin meats realized decent demand.

Angus Beef

The post-holiday market for angus beef has commenced sellers finding support for many spot prices. Two weeks of holiday-curtailed production has played a role with beef markets seeing stability from the supply side. While the seasonal trend has certainly materialized with end cuts, thin meats, ground beef and some loin cuts have seen advancing wholesale values develop. Rounds are receiving a strong call from processors and retailers. Rib values slipped lower, however, the decline is not as steep as some expected. Transportation issues loom large, as truck drivers are now working with new regulations. Frigid outdoor temperatures are also slowing down delivery of product.

Pork

The lingering effects of holiday-shortened harvest combined with disruptions caused by the winter storm which extended from Georgia to Canada led to a generally well supported pork market this week. Wholesale meat prices strengthened almost across-the-board this week.

Chicken

Whole birds and WOGs are still rated full steady to firm. Offerings are limited and paid values continue to trend higher. Whole breasts and tenders are still receiving an active call, despite the weather. Offerings are held with strong hands. Sellers of breast meat are becoming more confident, but sources are cautious in their approach. Not only were there a number of Saturday kills planned prior to this week’s storm, but now that production days have been lost, plants will likely have to make up for them this weekend and/or next. Asked and paid prices are beginning to inch higher however, it has yet to be determined if this is the rule. Whole legs and leg meat are firm. The rest of the dark meat complex is rated steady.

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