Feedstuffs Meat Price Outlook: March 12, 2019

Lower leg quarter prices, global economy and more positive exchange rate contribute to higher U.S. broiler meat exports.



Mar 12, 2019


Beef: Instead of holding off until late Friday afternoon like the prior weeks, cash cattle trade began to develop on Thursday last week. Live trade at mostly $128/cwt. and dressed trade at $205 were fully steady with last week. There were a few live sales reported at $128.50/cwt. Volumes were considered moderate to active. Cutout values continued moving higher this week, with the blended cutout reaching $224/cwt. in late-week trade. This was a couple of dollars above early March of last year and not far off from the spring highs of last May. While there were gains across the primals, the largest increase was in the primal loin. Spot market sales volumes were smaller among the major primals, particularly on the loin and round cuts. Last week's cattle harvest came in at 603,000 head, even with the previous week and 4,000 head above last year.


Pork: End-of-January cold storage levels are in. Bone-in ham stocks were 37 million lb., near the average for the past few year years, but the annual average has been shrinking in the last three years on increased fresh supply, which was expected. Boneless hams were 75.4 million lb., 9% below the prior year but still the second highest in history for any January. Ribs stocks were 127 million lb., 11% above the prior year. The industry continues to evaluate if these strong levels are needed or at least if the pace of additions can slow; hence, this is part of the price reset for ribs the last several weeks. Bone-in loins were higher than December but are at a record low for January for the past 20 years. There was a reduction of trimmings from December levels, down 1.34 million lb., which was atypical, with levels on par with last year at 47 million lb.