Meat Market Updates

BEEF

Middle meats are finally seeing some relief - but many suspect it will
be short lived as it is expected retailers will feature some beef items
for May to coincide with the real start of the grilling season in the
northeast. The very narrow choice to select spread is expected to begin
to widen in the coming weeks as a seasonal period of poor grading comes
into play. Grinds are experiencing the effects of the LFTB controversy
with poor demand. However, as with the middles grinds are usually
featured for grilling season so it will not be surprising to see them
begin to inch upward.

PORK

Low demand - continued high kill numbers are keeping this market at very
favorable price levels. Even with talk of limiting the kill numbers the
next six weeks are not a typically high demand period so this may just
flatten supply and demand even further. With this scenario in place it
seems to make sense that at some point in the near future we will see
increased demand (mostly retail driven) as the low prices will spark
some pork ads for the retail sector.

VEAL and LAMB

Sorry - but nothing new here. Now that we are past the Easter demand
period many expect both of these markets to decline. How quickly - not
will they - seems to be the question most being asked.

CHICKEN

All parts of this market were steady this week. Considering this is
usually a poor week for chicken sales as other proteins dominate Easter
sales this seems somewhat remarkable. The packers have done their
homework in keeping slaughter numbers at the proper level. Can wings and
boneless breast maintain their current levels? If the packers can
continue to find the right level it would appear they can - but it is a
very fine line indeed.