Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads

May 5, 2018

Beef

Cutouts continued to strengthen as ribs and loins found support for both spot and forward pricing. Rounds also played a role with the value of the carcass moving $7.26/cwt higher last week. In three weeks’ time, Choice cutout moved nearly $16.00/cwt higher, close to a 7.5% jump. Packers who expected demand to build, as spring weather in many regions improved dramatically, saw their spot inventory positions tighten for the current call. Rib primal carcass cutouts posted huge gains, pushed mainly by tight spot supplies, given the solid pre-sold orders. Loins did not rise to the level of gains posted by ribs but certainly contributed largely to overall strengthening of the carcass value.

Angus Beef

Rib and loin values realized large gains, as seasonal demand for middle meats hit with full force. The Angus Beef complex saw most sub primal spot values appreciate, with the exceptions being clod tenders, ball-tips, and skirt meat. Ground beef values edged higher, as demand for upcoming features increased.

Pork

In the fresh pork complex, we continued to see support among butts, picnics, bone-in loins and spares. Competitive featuring, improved weather and a lighter harvest all contributed to the higher prices. However, that same enthusiasm has yet to spread to boneless loins, which were barely steady yet again this week.

Chicken

Tenders and boneless breasts were in good shape with product inquiries experiencing a slight uptick during the end of the week. Wings were about steady. Buyers proved to be selective in their needs and availability was adequate to meet demand. Thigh meat and leg meat maintained, in good balance. Legs, leg quarters and thighs rated about steady to steady with product clearing without much haggling.

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