Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads



This week’s current harvest will be around 525,000 head. Last year at this time it was 575,000 head and 2013 was around 600,000. The current harvest is at historical lows. Overall for the year we are down 7% from the previous year. Packers have been holding back to minimize their losses due to the prices they are paying for live cattle. Ribs/Tenders continue to remain the strongest cuts. Strips are soon to begin there increase into summer. End cuts and thin meats are steady into next week.


The start of the breast meat moving higher into the summer has begun. The market has moved higher every day since last Thursday. Thigh meat and WOGS are steady into next week.


Pork has finally bottomed out it seems and stabilized. Bellies, bacon, racks, butts and loins have been steady to up $0.05-$0.10 this week. I expect this trend will continue steady to up slightly.


Domestic Lamb production is down from last year by around 10-12% percent. Product is available with few shortages. The seasonal cost increase has started and loins, shoulders, legs are up slightly. Racks steady. Shanks are steady. Imported lamb is available and cost is steady. Port issues continue to delay products.


Reports show that domestic veal production is down 30% from last year. Lack of production has made product shortages and higher costs. Bones, demi glaze and top rounds have been the majority of shortages. Cost is stable to up $0.25 on most items.


Large Mexican wild shrimp had a bad season this year, shortages on all U10, U12 and U15. 16/20 Mexican Wild still available and steady. Smaller size Mexican shrimp have started to drop as the imported smaller sizes are down.