Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads
November 13, 2017
Last week’s strength in carcass cutouts was mainly driven by ribs and tenderloins. End cuts were mixed with both discounts and higher spot market values. Buyers interest for larger quantities of spot production eased a bit, as they resisted procurement given the recent rise in wholesale price offerings. The revisions to the camera grading systems continues to be a talking point in the industry.
Last week’s Angus Beef market saw a bit of reaction from the recent camera grading revisions, as some Angus packers saw a shift in the percentage of Angus product coming off their fabrication lines. Given the revisions, some shortages of supply have occurred. As far as market prices are concerned, the shift in supply has generally lent support to wholesale values. Chuck rolls and eye rounds are the noted exception to the firmer spot market values realized in the past week. Buyer’s interest for immediate shipment has eased as wholesale pricing structures firmed.
The overall tone of the market moved from supported to barely steady to weak. There’s been a continual lack of domestic buying interest, which first weighed on the loin component, but is now weighing on a broader range of categories. The loin component fell another 2.16 percent last week. Meanwhile, butts received a good deal of support from ongoing export activity and market values responded positively. The sparerib market was marginally higher, supported by ongoing manufacturing activity. St. Louis Ribs were unchanged and Loin back ribs steady to weaker.
Whole birds and WOGs were mostly steady. Asked and paid values were market related. Jumbo breast meat settled, at least for the time being. Plants were packing against frozen contracts which helped to alleviate some pressure. Medium and select sized meats are tested lower in spots. Tenders, which opened the week in steady fashion, appeared to hit a wall. Bone-in dark meat remained barely steady at best. Thigh meat and leg meat were steady most of the week, but market participants were still cautious in their approach.