Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads

January 21, 2017

Beef

The market sputtered a bit at the start of the week but soon began to work higher. Prices bounced to fresh 10-month highs for February and April near the end of the week when cash bids were moving up. The market drifted off the highs but still ended the week with solid gains and 10-month high closes.

Demand for spot product is moderate at best. Support for carcass cutouts presently is coming from lighter production and slaughter schedules this week rather than demand for immediate shipment. Today’s market saw a few chuck quotations edge higher. Ground beef quotations closed the week mixed.

Angus Beef

Demand for Angus beef at present is moderate at best, seasonally typical for the last couple of weeks in January. End cuts have found a bit of support, derived from both export and domestic markets.

Rib values slipped lower, as the market awaited the arrival of “spring grilling demand.” Thin meat values edged higher, supported in part by recent curtailment in production.

Ground beef values diminished, as short demand did not require processors to pull wholesale supply from their coolers.

Pork

Bone-in hams and bellies are anticipated to see fully steady bids while boneless hams and trim are called barely steady to potentially weaker.

In fresh pork, bone-in loins and ribs are called fully steady while most of the rest of complex carries barely steady to weak undertones because of adequate availability.

Chicken

While most chicken items are moving and moving at well-supported values, there still seems to be a lack of demand in the marketplace. Whole birds and WOGs have more or less settled. Supplies are adequate to cover the market’s moderate needs.

Breast meat is no better than about steady. Some sources report that retail demand has improved, particularly where features are visible, but as a rule trading levels are no better than market related if not testing in spots.

Tenders are in demand; current quotations are fully supported. Wings and trim meat are the best items on the sheet. Buyers’ needs remain active to brisk and offerings are limited and held with increased confidence.

Paid values for spot loads, if even found, are up money. In the dark meat complex, export demand is active for near-term and out-front ship dates. All bone-in items are trading at full market or better values.

Thigh meat and leg meat prices have struggled lately and are testing lower.

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