Beef Demand Passes Memorial Day Holiday in 'Adequate to Good' Shape, According to Jim RobbTue, 04 Jun 2013 11:34:02 CDT
With Memorial Day, the first of the three big grilling holidays of summer, now behind us, Jim Robb of the Livestock Market Information Center says wholesale boxed beef trade looks like beef demand has passed the holiday in good shape. The Choice boxed beef cutout ended the week at $208.83, its second-highest weekly average ever. That was down about $2 per hundred-weight from the prior week.
"Coming out of Memorial Day, the market really did display that we had rather adequate Memorial Day beef movement in featuring and sales, but nothing that could really move the market higher. And I think the market has really paced throughout the week and that's why we got the fed cattle trade vey late in the week. I would classify the Memorial Day movement as adequate to good, probably not spectacular, but we did this at rather high beef prices."
Robb says there won't be much in the way of price relief for consumers as supplies are simply too tight to allow for much downward pressure.
"As we look into the summer months, we had some pretty good featuring on some of the middle meat items lately. We'll see how the hamburger and all that rolls around. We may see some softness slightly, but we're going to be faced with record-high beef prices from the consumer side and we'll have to even get those higher to support a cutout stronger for the cattle industry."
He says cautious consumers and an improving U.S. economy pose some opportunities for beef demand as prices in competing meats have risen.
"Now we have normalized those wholesale costs very significantly. There are still a few pork items that are really lagging in the complex, but, especially on the chicken side, the wholesale prices have ratcheted up dramatically in recent weeks and have closed the gap- with respect to some of the beef items."
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