Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads



In a relatively quiet trading week, many wholesale trades culminated at near steady money. A few prices moved lower, with some price breaks seen with ribs.

End cuts have a slightly improved tone now associated with spot trading. Loin values were mainly sideways with the exception being tenderloins that slipped in value.

Angus Beef

The Angus Beef Market ran into the seasonal headwinds over the past couple of weeks. As demand eased, wholesale inventories became a bit problematic, spurring fairly large discounts.

Not only did the rib primal slip lower, chucks and rounds saw hefty price reductions. Loin offerings held somewhat better than other primal sections of the carcass, but still saw some negative pressure build. Angus ground beef volume of sales was fairly decent, but wholesale values still drifted lower.


Hams were mostly steady all week, with activity limited. Bellies continued to see support through limited availability and consistent interest.

Trimmings were mixed as availability of 42s and 72s varied by location. Availability of fresh pork products still varied considerably from seller-to-seller, however appeared to improve from those previously off of the market. There was also a lack of domestic buying, which appeared to weigh heavily on the butt component.

Meanwhile, rib values continued to advance behind an increase in manufacturing activity in the new year.


The chicken market is not performing as well as history would have it, at least not for breast meat. Supplies are fully adequate to ample and demand is no better than fair.

Asked and paid values of breast meat are within a reasonable range of our listed quotations, but testing in spots. Whole birds are generally balanced; cutting stock WOGs are plummeting.

Sellers are entertaining discounted bids, some deep, in order to keep product moving. Tenders are moving very well and prices are firming up as further processing needs are becoming more active.

Wings are barely adequate to short. Buyers are scrambling to satisfy any last minute commitments they might have; prices are trending higher. In the dark meat complex, whole legs, leg quarters and drumsticks are fully supported.

Export movement has improved in recent weeks as have their values. Domestically, bone-in product is well balanced. Thigh meat is struggling to stimulate interest and prices are trending lower. Leg meat is fair at best.