Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads
April 23, 2017
Due in part to higher prices paid for cash cattle, beef processors pushed their wholesale offering prices higher in an effort to counter the higher cost of front-end supply.
Interest from the buy side of the market was moderate-at-best, held in check by the advancing wholesale price levels.
Rib: values found a solid base of support this week. Retailers were a bit more active with securing product for both near term and out front features.
Loin: values found support coming out of the Easter/Passover holiday break. Both near term and forward bookings pulled the value of loin cuts higher.
Ground Beef: Sustained strong demand for ground beef was very noticeable throughout the week. Wholesale values pushed higher as product became scarce on the spot market.
The Angus beef complex as well as commodity beef markets coming out of the Easter/Passover week has realized decent demand and higher wholesale prices. Cutout values have been lifted by packers working from manageable inventory positions.
Middle meat prices have found support with both near term and forward time slot bookings. End cut values have firmed behind a strong call coming from ground beef processors increasing production and were seeking whole muscle cuts.
Activity in the fresh pork complex this week was limited for many cuts and price movement was conservative in response. Coming fresh off the Easter holiday weekend and still too many weeks away from Memorial Day to see typical seasonal movement, the complex was quiet with no product’s price changing by more than 4 percent over the period.
Whole birds and WOGs are very well supported. Offerings of select sized WOG’s have tightened and prices appear to be trending higher. Jumbo boneless breast meat is rated full steady to firm. Medium and smaller sized meat is well balanced and trading at market related levels. Wings are bucking their traditional trend as they’re now climbing in value; supplies are barely adequate to short and demand remains active particularly in the foodservice sector. Tenders are steady.
Whole breasts, fronts, chunk and trim meat are commanding up money. The same can be said for thigh meat and leg meat. All bone-in dark meat items are trading at market related levels, if not slightly higher.