each week reports on the live cattle and beef markets. It talks to numerous
players, including producers, packers, foodservice and retail beef buyers,
livestock and meat analysts, to gain an in-depth understanding of key market
factors. Subjects include:
an excerpt from a recent story.
concern is the low reported boxed cuts volume last week and all month. Since the
week starting Feb. 28, there have been only three days when more than 300 boxes
of cuts were reported sold. That week saw only 1304 boxes reported, followed by
1074 and 979 boxes the next two weeks. Only 920 boxes were reported sold Monday
through Thursday last week. Some fear that packers are rationing product and
will have to “puke” up product to clear inventories. But a more likely
explanation is that other factors are causing the reporting of fewer sales than
normal. First, export sales are up 8-9% on last year. These aren’t reported.
Second, packers have sold a lot of product forward. These sales don’t fall
within USDA’s reporting time frame. So they’re not being reported. Most of
this product is middle meats. Ironically though, they were contracted at lower
prices than current spot prices, say analysts. Conversely, discounted end meats
are not being reported. Mandatory price reporting would definitely produce a
lower cutout than is being reported right now, they say.
Cattle Buyers Weekly, March 27, 2000