Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads
December 16, 2017
Negative pressure on carcass cutouts this week was derived from seasonal correction with ribs and tenderloins. Packers were looking for clearing price levels of unsold spot production.
End cuts found some stability. Ground beef demand improved as retail features increased. Spot market trading eased as some buyers are attempting to keep on-hand inventory levels at lower levels as the year comes to a close.
The seasonal correction with ribs and tenderloins is now occurring, with rather large wholesale value declines noted. End cuts have found some support from retail, and spot market values have stabilized. Angus loin strips, short loins, as well as top butts realized increased wholesale value over the past week, as demand improved. Angus ground beef trades occurred at higher money since last week’s report, receiving a strong call for retail features.
The fresh pork complex was highly unsettled this week. What started out with a quietly softer undertone turned mostly firmer by the latter half of the week. Export interest, holiday retail features and anticipatory buying ahead of limited production and processing days during the Christmas-New Year’s period has kept supplies balanced to thin despite the current production levels.
The complex is seeing slight upticks to the undertone which is not all that bad given the time of the year we’re in. Competing against traditional holiday proteins suited to Christmas, chicken is hanging in better than first thought. Wogs and whole birds are inching higher as supplies are being absorbed to satisfying anticipated needs. Jumbo wings remain the sore point for many as needs and price reflects an unsettling undertone. Smaller sized wings are well supported as a tradeoff to jumbos. Tenders and boneless breasts are steady and manageable.