Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads

Market Update Chart Green


The spot market for boxed beef performed seasonally for the most part during the first full week of the month. Rib values strengthened earlier in the season, to the surprise of some traders. By week’s end, cutout values were seen at steady/lower levels from week prior. Buyers remained conservative with procurement. Rib values continued to edge higher. Demand built to the level that allowed wholesale processors to price and sell at higher levels.

Angus Beef

As cattle grading remained seasonally strong, spot market availability remained almost fully adequate. While ribs and thin meats continued to find support on the spot market, a bit of negative pressure surfaced with a variety of end cuts and loin offerings. Ground beef values pulled back as demand eased. Overall demand for spot market beef, be it commodity or Angus, took a breather.


Last week seemed to be nearly a carbon copy of the prior week in that while the fresh pork complex was unsettled, little in the way of price direction was actually established. What was gained one day was often lost the next across many of the items.

Butts continued to see notable support and maintained a substantial premium over bone-in loins, largely due to export packages to Korea.


Chickens and WOGs remained unchanged from the prior week. Front-half items were more or less in the same situation. Wings tested post-Super Bowl demand in market conditions that we found to be unsettled. Offerings did not attracting a significant enough level of interest to provide support, most obviously on medium and jumbo offerings. Conversely, tenders attracted firm demand. Prices rose routinely when offerings became available. Demand continued its seasonal climb from expected foodservice channels, in conjunction with a slight improvement to the call from fast food operations. Back-of-the-bird trade continued its mostly steady status with little noteworthy development.