Market Updates for April 12, 2019

Section Type

Dairy | Cheese

The CME Block and Barrel pricing has found a range where speculators feel will continue in the short term. With the spring flush approaching the highs will be minimized, but second half of the year strength is still being projected.  

Last week:

Block - Down

Barrel - Up

This Week:

Block -Up

Barrel - Up

Dairy | Eggs

Retail demand disappointing. Supplies readily available. Market soft.

Last week:

Large - Down

Medium - Down

Small - Down

This Week:

Large - Down

Medium - Down

Small - Down

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 - Up

Grocery & Bakery | Wheat

Wheat prices are low as we enter the 2019 growing season. The winter wheat crop is in great shape in Kansas and the southern plains, but soft winter wheat (crackers, cake, pastries)  in the Midwest is reported to be in the worst shape in decades. Spring wheat (pizza, pasta) planting are likely to be delayed a little, but it is too early to be very worried. 

Grocery & Bakery | Soybean Oil

Soybean oil prices have inched higher. Production has slowed a little and the outlook for biodiesel usage is improving as crude oil prices surge.

Grocery & Bakery | Sugar

Refined sugar.prices are steady; raw sugar prices eased back to where they were in early March.

Meat | Beef

The number of market-ready cattle in feedlots tends to increase in the spring, but demand also goes up with the approach of grilling season. Cattle prices are steady.

Ground Beef:

Ground beef prices may retreat a little if the latest storm blast slows demand.


This is probably the last week of inventory builds for Easter. Prices should begin adjusting lower.


Prices are back to the same levels they spent most of February. We could hold here for a while.


Beef roast features have ended and prices are adjusting lower. We are still above 2018 levels so there may be more downside.


Strip loin prices have shot above where they were in previous Aprils. High prices now could limit retail featuring later.


Forward prices are 10% higher than last year, but volume sold is way lower. We may see a little more discounting to attract buying.

Thin Meats:

Ball-tip and flank meat prices adjusted lower, but are now at least steady. Outside skirts have become one of the highest priced beef cuts.

Meat | Pork

June hog futures have traded over $1/lb twice now and then settled back. Technical traders would call this a "double top" which makes it a significant technical obstacle to any upcoming price rally. Farmers and other hedgers will likely use this as a point to sell more hogs forward, making this market top tough to break through.


While having the futures appear set an upside limit for hog prices is reassuring, it is important to remember that today's butt prices are much lower than where hog futures suggest they will go.


Prices are adjusting lower after the processing window for Easter hams closes. Like butts, hog futures suggest spring/summer prices could be much higher.


Belly prices are adjusting higher as demand continues strong.


Rib prices have rebounded and are trending higher as we start grilling season.


​Bone-in and boneless loin prices seem to be caught in a typical April setback. Prices should begin to trend higher as grilling season kicks in.

Poultry | Chicken

Whole and cut-up chicken demand is improving; prices are steady/higher.

Breast and Tenders:

Medium and jumbo breast meat are balanced; prices are steady. Tenders prices are firming as food service demand remains good.


Wing demand is slowing down as we near the end of March Madness; prices usually adjust lower.

Dark Meat:

Leg and thigh meat are balanced; prices are steady.

Poultry | Turkey

Retailers remain focused on building inventories; prices for both whole turkeys and bone-in breasts are edging higher.