The weakness that was anticipated in the boxed beef market started to show up this week. Ribs saw some steady to discounted trade. The round complex was the weakest component with supply outpacing demand. Sellers were willing to part with excess inventory.
Top butts again were bid higher in an effort to secure much-needed product. Ground beef was rated about steady. Cash cattle markets suggested light trade again today and remained soft compared to last week.
Trade activity in the Angus Beef market slowed this week, which is typical butting up against the month of February. While production has stalled in the face of waning demand and has helped, grading continues to be at or near record levels.
This has kept offerings of Angus relatively consistent and put pressure on much of the complex. Ribs and rounds contributed the most to losses. Chucks and ground beef were also about steady for the most part. Top butts were short of current need given the call from foodservice.
After being heavily discounted earlier this month, bone-in hams enjoyed renewed interest this week. Boneless traded moderately lower with the spread between bone-ins and boneless remaining quite large.
Bellies stole the show this week, gaining aggressively on severely thin availability. Trimmings were mixed to lower on the week.
Whole birds and WOGs are trading at market-related levels. The call is better for smaller-sized WOGs than it is for heavier ones. Breast meat is mostly steady and trading within a normal range of our quotations. While there are several sources reporting strong movement, there are also a few sources telling us they’re having no issues finding availability. Tenders are still firm and wanted. Offerings are barely adequate to short and held with confidence. The same is likely true of wings, however, we really haven’t uncovered much in the last couple of days. Buyers are in need of product, but unwilling to pay the sharp premiums sellers want. All bone-in dark meat items are generally balanced and well supported. Thigh meat appears to have settled out and is now trading at steady values. Leg meat is still testing in spots as demand remains mixed.