Trilateral Protein Heat Map

Protein Heat Map

Best Value Buys

  • Strip steaks are a great buy at prices 23% lower than this time last year. Poor weather has kept demand low for this grilling item; however, once the weather improves, expectations are for pent up demand to come out with a roar.
  • Pork Bellies and Bacon are entering a seasonal uptrend, yet are 25% lower than this time last year and near the level buyers will start to purchase and store in the freezer for a rainy day.
  • Spareribs also present value. Like strip steaks, this summer grilling item has had a muted price due to poor weather across the country.
  • Chicken breastmeat is currently trading under boneless/skinless thigh meat. In addition, if bone-in wings remain at current elevated levels, breastmeat prices will rise as restaurants will replace their bone-in with boneless wings as seen in 2018.
  • Eggs should be a long-term purchase at this point.  Despite the jump in price off all-time lows last week, prices remain 23% lower than last year and still near the all-time lows.  Any buyer who worked during the Avian Flu epidemic, knows the value in locking this item in on a long-term contract at price levels near all-time lows.

What to Watch for – The Buyers’ Perspective

  • African Swine Fever has influenced the market to an extent thus far, but not to the degree that many feared. We believe that this is the calm before the storm. Although pork prices rose in China in certain areas, they have not had the severe drop in pork production as forecasted. This may be due to farmers with healthy animals bringing them to slaughter to avoid contracting the virus. Consequently, there has been a flood of production in the near term. However, according to the Chinese government, they will be facing a minimum loss of 20% once this crop cycle is complete. Furthermore, many private analysts forecast a loss between 40%-50% of the herd, and the end of this crop cycle is when the real protein shortage will present itself. This shortage will affect all proteins across the board as chicken and beef will become substitutes for the Chinese staple.
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