Beef Trends - april 19, 2019
Live cattle prices traded up between 3 to 4 cents last week, closing at $1.27 to $1.28/lb., compared to the previous week at $1.24. We do believe live cattle cost will trade steady to possibly higher again this week.
Last week’s production levels were reported at 634,000 head, which is up 13,000 head from the previous week. Projections continue to estimate higher production levels, as May is estimated at 640,000 head, and in June it is projected to jump to 650,000 head.
Cattle grading has seen some slippage, with Prime reporting at 9.75%, Choice at 72.25%, and Ungraded reporting at 3.48%, while the Select grade is showing an increase, at 14.52% of the overall grading.
GROUND BEEF 81%:
We saw the 81% grinds take another price increase, as activity for retail ads is driving costs upward. We do expect a steady to modest increase on 81% grinds through April.
GROUND Beef 73%:
73% grinds reported steady last week after taking increases for a few weeks. The market trend so far for the week is showing a modest increase, with heavy demand in place. Out front, we are projecting a steady to modest increase on 73% grinds through April.
Ground chuck rebounded last week with a price increase. So far this week, we continue to see more inflation on ground chuck. Out front, we are projecting a steady to modest increase on ground chuck through April.
All grades of knuckles continue to be under pressure, with modest discounting in place. So far this week, the market is seeing the same trend play out, and the market will remain soft through April.
All grades of inside rounds traded lower, with the exception of the Select grade reporting steady. All grades of inside rounds are showing a steady to modest increase so far for this week. We do expect the inside rounds to be an unstable market through the remainder of April.
BOTTOM ROUND FLATS:
All grades of flats reported lower again last week. Prices so far this week are showing signs of further weakness, and are expected to continue to move lower.
EYES OF ROUND:
All grades of eyes of round continues to report modest to moderate declines. So far this week, all grades continue to be under pressure, with lower costs.
Choice strips remained strong for the 10th week in a row, as they posted further gains last week, while the Select grade reported a modest increase. Strips are expected to continue on the path to higher costs, but it is not out of the question that we could see a setback in cost toward the back end of April, as prices have moved up too much.
Choice grades of top butts reported a rebound to higher costs last week, while the Select grade slipped with a modest decrease. So far this week, we are seeing the Choice grade being unstable in price, while the Select grade is showing a modest increase to price.
All grades of tenderloins, with the exception of the Select grade, moved slightly lower last week, while the Select grade reported modestly higher. This week, we are seeing all grades of tenderloins edge higher, with heavy demand in place. Tenderloins should move higher as we head towards Mother’s Day.
In the rib complex, all grades, both heavy and light ribeyes, reported modest to moderate increases, while the light Ungraded ribeye was the only exception, with a decent decline. So far for this week, we are seeing the same trend play out to higher costs, as demand continues to be strong, sending prices higher.
Chuck rolls again reported a modest decrease last week across all grades. So far for this week, we are seeing an unstable market, with possible increases ahead.
TERES MAJOR MUSCLE:
All grades of Teres Majors reported a moderate setback to lower cost, based on lack of demand. So far for the week, we are seeing the Choice grade rebound to higher cost, while the Select grade is yet again reporting another modest decline. Look for the Teres Majors to be unstable for the remainder of April.
All grades rebounded from the previous week’s lows, reporting a modest increase. Briskets are projected to ease downward toward the end of April, but it is not out of the question that we could see a market rebound if demand picks up.
All grades of ball tips continued to report down modestly. For the current week, we are seeing a modest rebound on the Select grade while the Choice grade continues to struggle with continued discounting in place. The ball tip market will be very unstable through April.
Flap meat continues to push higher, with heavy demand in place. Currently the market is showing another strong increase to all grades. This market is poised to take significant gains as Cinco de Mayo draws nearer.
All grades of flanks had a setback, with modest declines based on lack of demand. Currently we see the Choice grade rebound with modest increases, while the Select grade is reporting a steady market.
The skirt steak market continues to drive upward, and reported a modest increase. The skirt steak market will continue to take gains as Cinco de Mayo draws nearer.