Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads
April 8, 2017
Beef cutouts declined in large fashion this week, as beef processors needed to move product which resulted in discounted wholesale values. Loins and rounds remained the two problematic primal sections of the carcass.
The choice and no-roll rib was the only major primal section of the carcass to hold a steady value this week. The good news for the packer is the reward of an improved spot inventory position as the week came to a close, as well as decent interest in buying for forward delivery came to fruition.
Let’s start this week’s report about the Angus Beef market with a few bright spots. Angus ribs have held their own recently, as compared to the overall weak tone that has lingered about with beef markets. A few thin meats, specifically noted with loin flap, tri-tips, outside skirts, as well as lifter and pectoral meat have found support and has led to slightly advanced wholesale levels. Rounds and loins remain problematic for the beef processor, and continue to pressure carcass cutouts lower. Chuck have fared slightly better than rounds, finding a base of support from fairly solid export business. Ground beef demand remains lackluster for the moment.
The market moved from oversupplied to balanced this week, but most averages on Friday remain below week ago levels. Buyers remained cautious, and spot loads were subjected to discounting due to this buyer behavior in advance of Easter week.
Especially weak were loin products, where the composite fell another three percent, Butts proved to be steadier, Picnics and cushion products were also lower week-over-week, and so were spareribs. St. Louis Rib and Loin Back Rib values ranged steady/weak.
Supply and demand are generally balanced most listed lines are trading at supported levels. Year to date head count is up slightly average live weights are down slightly. Some of those dropping their weights are doing it intentionally, some are saying it’s because of poor bird performance. Ready-to-cook pounds are only up slightly year-over-year. Whole birds and WOGs are steady. The same can be said for breast meat and tenders. Wings remain snug despite there being no major promotions over the horizon.
Boneless dark meat is rated full steady, all bone-in dark meat items are moving regularly at market related values.