Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads
December 9, 2017
Cutouts slid lower during the week as beef processors pushed end cuts, ground beef, some thin meats, and trimmings out to the buyer at discounted levels. Packers are looking to enter the next few weeks with manageable inventory positions ahead of the seasonal correction that occurs when ribs and tenderloins lose value as buyers back away from their holiday procurement.
Choice rib values throughout the week deviated only slightly, while select and no-roll ribs saw price breaks develop. Interest for quick shipment of choice ribs is on the cusp of turning lower, as the window for booking and receiving product for holiday features is closing.
Top butts sustained strength, and remained a solid performer for the loin primal cutout. As the week closed, price reductions surfaced for the peeled tenderloin, as buying for the holidays started to wane.
Holiday demand as well as some tightening of spot supply given the recent shift in grading (camera revisions) has lent a bit of support to the Angus beef rib market. Peeled tenderloins and top butts continues to find support for near term production. Offsetting the few middle meats that trended higher in wholesale value were chucks and rounds slipping lower in value, as well as strip and short loins that buyers were not showing interest for quick ship. Ground beef quotations also edged lower with spot market value.
While the beginning of the week started out active, mid and late week saw a noticeable slow-down in activity within the fresh pork complex. While some roast featuring helped add a moderate amount of support to the loin complex, competition with beef for retail space seemed to limit the effect. Bone-in loins struggle movement, boneless loins saw similar turbulence, closing the week lower. Tenders were unchanged while boneless and bone-in sirloins brought higher bids. Both bone-in butts and boneless butts were steady to a modest.
Tenders are firm and wanted. Offerings are barely adequate to short at most points of sale—further processors are aggressive as they look to rebuild their inventories for upcoming promotions. Even jumbo breast meat is starting to move-up some. Asked and paid values are still mostly full market. Medium and select sized meats are supported. Jumbo wings are still no better than unsettled. Offerings are still burdensome and sellers are entertaining discounted bids for whole and cut form loads. Medium and smaller sized wings are better positioned. Whole birds and WOGs are fair for now. As for the back half of the bird; thigh meat and leg meat are rated at least steady.