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Agricultural News

Boxed-Beef Trade Closing the Gap with Last Year, Ed Czerwien Says

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 16:06:28 CDT

Boxed-Beef Trade Closing the Gap with Last Year, Ed Czerwien Says
Ed Czerwien, USDA Market News, Amarillo, Texas, files this report for boxed beef trade ending June 1, 2013:

The daily spot Choice box beef cutout ended the week at $206.65 which was a $2.22 lower. Volume was light again and that makes five weeks in a row with weekly spot load counts in the 700 load range which is about 10-12 percent of the total sales.

The Comprehensive Choice cutout, which is the weekly average of all types of sales (including the spot trade, formula trade, export sales and out-front sales) was at $206.74, which was 0.63 higher than last week.

The total reported Box Beef volume was 6,713 loads which was 303 loads fewer than last week. Obviously there was a lot of pent up demand and good follow-through buying for the first big grilling holiday.   The formula trade was 3,602 loads for the week which was 247 loads more than last week and about 54% of the total sales.

The out-front sales were 860 loads which was 468 loads less than last week.   Out-front sales have very dominant peaks and valleys during the summer. Exports reported 981 loads which was 316 loads less than the previous week. The NAFTA exports represented 220 of those loads and 761 loads were shipped overseas.

The most recent ten-week rolling Box Beef sales average was 7,002 loads per week which compares to 7,147 loads per week last year at this same time and was only 145 loads less than last year average. This is the closest that we have been to last year in some time.

The Primal cut trade portion of the spot trade continues to show signs of struggle. The outside primal cuts (Rounds and Chucks) prices were 1-3 lower. The inside primal cuts the Loin and Rib were mixed. The Ch Ribs and Loins were 1-7 higher but the Select products were steady to weak.

The cow cutout was about 2 lower since the 90-percent trimmings lost a little over $3.00 for the week. Cow harvest rates continue to be higher due to increased numbers of Canadian cows, intense dairy culling, and big runs of cows in some drought areas.

The latest average national steer carcass weight had been following its normal seasonal decline all spring but this is the time of the year that it turns the corner and starts to increase. It was one pound higher at 843 lbs. which compares to 841 lbs. last year and 815 lbs. for the four-year-average.

The Choice-Select spread is the largest that it's been in some time as retailers continue to pursue more Choice product for the grilling season. It was 19, which was about the same as it has been the last two weeks.



Ed Czerwien analyzes last week's beef trade.
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