Market Update From the West Coast Meatheads

Market Update Chart


We’ve seen some declines developed this week with carcass cutout values, largely attributed to rib and loin primals realizing seasonal corrections. Choice Carcass cutout dropped $9.89/cwt this week; Select Carcass cutout moved $5.76/cwt lower.

Also seeing spot market value attrition were items from the chuck and round sections of the carcass, as well as some thin meat offerings. Buyers adopted a mindset of either “buy only immediate needs”, or “back away” from the market as risk developed while spot market wholesale values were moving lower.

Angus Beef

Seasonal devaluation has hit not only commodity beef markets, but attrition has also landed firmly within the Angus Beef market. Ribs and loins are leading carcass cutouts lower, slipping from the historical levels recently reached. End cults are also contributed to the weaker spot market. There are indications that supply of cattle that meets the Angus specifications have increased as the Choice Grading percentage has moved higher. Angus ground beef values remain supported as near term demand matches current production levels.


Seasonal influences took over this week; buyer interest for the coinciding first of the month and Independence holidays showed-up, leading most categories higher. The bulk of the buying interest was in the butt and sparerib components, while sellers of loins had to first contend with the presence of carryover product. Loin products struggled early week, and sellers discounted in order to garner buyer interest. Once cleared, many values firmed, but week-over-week pricing was still somewhat scattered. Trade in picnics and cushion meat was somewhat of a mixed bag despite packers continuing to convert larger quantities into lean boneless materials. The market for pork butts turned around in short order. Now in demand, product values firmed as much as $7.50/cwt. Spareribs continued to gain daily amid sustained seasonal buying interest; small and medium ribs added $9.50/cwt and $4.00/cwt respectively. St. Louis Ribs also gained in-line with the action on spareribs.


This week in the chicken market, supply and demand were fairly balanced. Last week’s downward pressure appears to have since subsided as most listed lines are now trading within normal range. Whole birds and WOGs are tightening. Asked and paid values are

Market related and possibly trending higher. Jumbo boneless breast meat is mostly steady. Select sized meat is snug and wanted. Tenders are receiving an active call from further processors. Wings continue to surprise everyone as movement remains relatively strong.

Fresh leg quarters and whole legs are held with varying degrees of confidence. Drumsticks and thighs are generally supported. Thigh meat and leg meat continue to go unchanged.