Beef prices have likely peaked for the spring and should slide lower into summer as supplies of market ready cattle grow. The total number of cattle in feedlots was up over 5% on May 1st from 2017 levels. Weather across the country has played a large part in preventing beef prices from moving higher this spring. Many large metropolitan markets just simply missed the normal “spring” weather, going straight from winter to summer. As a result, live cattle prices should continue to grind lower with an expected low sometime in the next 60 days.
Prices are already 15% lower than same time last year, and will likely move another 5-10% lower into summer.
So cheaper live cattle prices should make for lower overall beef prices. Ribs and loins likely will lead the charge lower. Father’s Day is typically the last big push from retailers on these steak cuts. But this could be delayed as retailers attempt to capture pent up demand after seeing a mediocre spring. The stronger economy and better weather should help get consumers to fire up the grills.
Wild Striped Bass – June looks to be a good month for Wild Striped Bass. Product has been relatively unavailable and expensive over the past few months, but with 2 new openings just happening (Maryland and Long Island) we should see product become more available and prices soften.
Salmon – Finally, the entire market is weakening. Chile, Norway, Scotland and Canadian pricing has all begun dropping. The summer months will be great with the holiday and its demand behind us, farms are already looking to keep volume moving so pricing will stay attractive.
Mahi – The Domestic head on fish have begun to move up the Atlantic Coast, landing in the Carolinas recently. Product is coming in very fresh and will continue to be like this all season. Import H&G fish are still available but pricing is too high to make sense of bringing it in.
Pasteurized Imported Crabmeat – Last year brought us record highs and now it looks like we might beat those in 2018! Pricing for both the Red Chinese and Blue Premium meats are ticking up on a monthly basis. I don’t see prices coming off until the end of the summer, at the earliest.
Lobster – Fishing is in full swing for the Spring lobster season in Atlantic Canada. LFA 27 in Cape Breton is open and in full production, along with lobsters being landed in other areas around Nova Scotia and PEI. Catches remain steady with reports of good quality being landed. Areas in Southwest Nova Scotia have now closed down after another busy season. Market demand remains steady with plenty of supply to feed demand. Processors are open and in production, and increase based on available raw material.
Halibut – Supply from Alaska is steady and pricing remains attractive.
Shrimp – Shrimp market in the US and overseas have stabilized. Major retailers and restaurant chains have started to make purchases for Q3 and Q4 2018. Pricing is close to a 10-year low and making shrimp the best value among all seafood categories. The first major harvest will end in approximately 4 weeks and reports indicate the 2nd major harvest won’t be as plentiful. Farmers are unhappy with raw material prices therefore won’t stock their ponds as dense.