Last week’s federally inspected cattle harvest brought a much brighter outlook to the supply chain, as it marked a two-week continuance of increased head counts in the country’s packing facilities.
While consumers have long preferred a highly marbled, juicy steak or roast from the rib and loin, the industry struggles to achieve much premium from Choice over Select on the lower priced cuts.
Data for the final week of August is yet to be posted but it’s a formality at this juncture, given the pace of CAB-qualifying carcasses in the first 3 ½ weeks.
The share of Prime carcasses has more than doubled in the past 5 years, spelling greater availability and consequential wider usage among end users.
The fed cattle market is holding strong in late July within a narrow trading range.
The very narrow spread between CAB and Choice product, reduced even further from last week, represents a great buying opportunity for the premium brand.
Average beef carcass cutout values in 2018 so far are just slightly higher than a year ago with the comprehensive cutout up just a penny over the first half of 2017 at $2.14/cwt.
Herd rebuilding now has packer harvest capacity nearly maxed out and, with more quality cattle in the mix, we۪ve seen the largest weekly supplies of CAB carcasses on record.