Market Updates for February 22, 2019

Section Type

Dairy | Cheese

The CME Block and Barrel Market has been retracting from lows not seen in quite some time.  Speculators feel the market has moved back towards a more stable range.  Supply is still above demand, but with the colder weather in the Midwest there should be a mild dip in the milk production for January.

Last week:

Block - Up

Barrel - Up

This Week:

Block - Up

Barrel - Up

Dairy | Eggs

Retail demand only fair to fairly good. Supplies vary regionally. Market mixed.

Last week:

Large - Down

Medium - Down

Small - No Change

This Week:

Large - No Change

Medium - No Change

Small - No Change

Dairy | Butter

Butter production continues to be active and inventories continue to grow; expectations are for butter pricing to stay relatively stagnant on the spot market over the next few weeks prior to the butter inventory is reset with current levels and previous inventory is ‘wiped out’. 

Last week:

Butter - Down

This Week:

Butter - Down

Grocery & Bakery | Wheat

Despite some weekly wiggles, hi-gluten flour and semolina flour prices have not done much since last fall. Prices are sitting around 10% below last January.

Grocery & Bakery | Soybean Oil

Soybean oil prices have moved to the upper end of the USDA's $0.285-$0.315/lb range. Reduced South American supply and higher biodiesel usage are supporting prices.

Grocery & Bakery | Sugar

Beet sugar.prices are full steady as spot supplies remain well sold.

Meat | Beef

Cold, wet weather has negatively affected feedlot weight gains; we are harvesting more cattle than last year but they weigh less. Overall beef production is even with last year, but both domestic and foreign demand have increased. Beef and cattle prices, therefore, are 2-3% higher than last year.

Ground Beef:

Ground beef prices continue to drift lower and have been tracking close to last year. Seasonal production cutbacks could begin to support prices in upcoming weeks.


Boneless rib prices have been mostly sideways this month, but we are starting to see bone-in ribs get more attention from retailers. We could see a seasonal uptrend start soon.


Prices are starting to firm as corned beef processing for St Patrick's Day picks up.


Round prices appear to be nearing seasonal peaks with eye rounds reaching much higher price levels than last year. Forward sales are being made at discounts suggesting prices will head lower soon.


Prices have been trading sideways at prices near last year. Mild winter weather encouraged retailers to feature strips in March/April last year, but we are not seeing similar promotions during the cold 2019 winter. Prices could remain flat until retail interest picks up. 


Tender prices are trading getting a little traction this week as we move closer to Easter and Mothers Day.

Thin Meats:

 priceSeasonally-declining beef production is pushing thin meat prices higher.

Meat | Pork

Production keeps cranking at 5% above last year and pork prices are slipping. With exports stifled by tariffs, sharply lower prices are required to keep pork moving.


Butt prices are drifting lower as buyers patiently wait for signs of a bottom.


Ham prices continue to be pressured lower by large production.


Belly prices are retreating during this period of slow demand.


The usual price uptrend has been snuffed out by heavy supplies.


​As soon as retail features ended loin prices cratered. Boneless loin prices are below jumbo chicken breast in an effort to attract retail interest.

Poultry | Chicken

Demand for whole chickens has slowed with some discounting needed to place extra production.

Breast and Tenders:

Jumbo and medium breast meat prices are slipping as chicken competes with cheap pork at retail. Tenderloin prices have stopped going up with availability increasing.


Wing prices are adjusting lower following Super Bowl. Prices often trend lower until college basketball's March Madness demand creates support.

Dark Meat:

Strong export demand is lifting leg quarter prices. Leg and thigh meat production has increased with the introduction of more automated deboning. Some extra production is moving into freezers and discounting is starting.

Poultry | Turkey

Lower turkey production levels are supporting prices for both whole turkeys and bone-in breasts.