February 12, 2024 Market Report

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The decline in overall yields and the rise in quality issues can be attributed to the persistent adverse weather conditions experienced in various growing regions. As a result, market prices have remained elevated and are expected to continue at this level for the next few weeks. There is no rain in the forecast for the remainder of the week, but muddy fields will slow packing with minor delays at loading. We have seen freezing temperatures, rain, and heat. That culmination can damper the quality, and we are seeing blisters, peeling, and some pinking in lettuce/leafy items. Growers have been working hard to keep quality and weights consistent through these challenges.



Last week’s soybean oil futures saw a strong start before declining at the end of the week. Although the higher rise was caused by rising energy markets, soybean futures were kept in control by the overall strong supply of beans and other commodities. Canola is flat, whereas palm has increased due to production problems and Chinese demand.



With the exception of Northwest California, where shell egg prices are flat. Cheeses from Block & Barrel are getting better. Butter is still up.



Packers are attempting to increase replacement cost by paying extra for cattle last week. Chucks and bullets stay consistent. Buyers should use caution as ribs remain in corrective mode. Strips are also steady, with premiums carried by CAB and Sel. Overall, tenders are still soft. As supply increase, grinds are topping out and should correct in the coming weeks.


A small increase in butts was caused by more upfront purchases. The market for ribs showed considerable growth as well, particularly for backribs and spareribs. Demand is steady and loins are staying basically stable. Bellies moved down this week and are still erratic.


Wings were the star of the market, and they were harder to get due to the Super Bowl. The availability of breasts in all sizes has improved. There are fewer and fewer tenders available. The desire for dark meat is still high. The majority of whole birds are balanced.



The market for imported shrimp is beginning to solidify, and as Lent approaches, price increases are anticipated. In California, the Dungeness crab season began last week, and vendors will be receiving new stock from the upcoming season. Expect discounts on products from the previous season. The domestic crawfish stock has been wiped out by this summer’s dry weather.

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