Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads
October 9, 2017
Slight gains developed with cutouts, spurred by ribs, briskets, chuck rolls, and eye rounds. Offsetting somewhat the gains were flats and ground beef. Buyers eased their interest as the week progressed as they pushed back from the market given the wholesale price gains. Choice rib values escalated, choice rib primal gaining $20.58/ cwt, or 6.64%. Buyers jumped into the market to insure product was coming their way for both spot and holiday needs. Choice striploins held near steady for the first week of October.
As seen over the recent trading period, ribs, chuck rolls, briskets and eye of rounds have performed well for both commodity and Angus Beef processors. The bottom round flat has realized a diminished call for spot sales, as have ground beef and clods. Top butt values for the last month have diminished, as demand has seasonally eased. Choice grading percentage remains strong.
With few exceptions, the fresh pork complex traded barely steady to lower for most of the week. While Pork Month interest has been active and supportive, the overall inflow of pork due to record harvesting has created a significant headwind. Loins, butts and spareribs closed the week barely steady to weaker in scattered trade as a result. Bone-in loins closed lower while boneless traded steady to up. Sirloins were some of the only items that showed some support.
Export interest for both loin and butt items has been noted, but was not enough to fully stop price declines. Spareribs were steady to lower.
Supplies are still deemed at least adequate to fully adequate for a number of listed lines. Whole breasts, fronts, breast meat and tenders continue to test lower in spots. Sellers are negotiating out front packages to stay clean, but based on current production figures, most buyers are still convinced further discounting is imminent. The big story this week revolves around jumbo wings; for the first time in more than 7 months, prices have trended lower. Price sensitive buyers who have adjusted their promotional strategies are seeing more offerings than they have in several months and sellers are entertaining discounted bids for whole and cut form product. Bone-in drumsticks and thighs are unsettled – leg quarters and whole legs are about steady at best. Even thigh meat and leg meat are teetering some.