Cattle prices: Cash cattle trading in all feeder regions was light last week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that cash prices were $1 lower, on average, than the previous week and held at $144.00-146.50/cwt. Wholesale beef cutout values climbed all of last week to $231.79/cwt. for the Choice cutout and $221.16/cwt. for the Select cutout. Cattle futures slipped last Thursday after four months of an upward climb. For the most part, the cattle market appears to be hitting the pause button as traders re-evaluate supply and demand.
Hog market: Market traders are searching for solid answers regarding the actual impact of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) on hog and pork supplies, especially during the summer grilling season. Reports on pig losses due to PEDV have indicated that this month should begin the chapter that tells the real story of the toll PEDV has taken on hog supplies. Hog futures prices dropped last week after a decline in cash hog and wholesale pork prices. The trading activity for cash hogs was slow, with prices last week hovering around $108-109/cwt. for the eastern and western Corn Belt. In hog futures, the June and July contracts both slid last Thursday to $117.60 and $125.32, respectively.
Poultry steady: Overall, poultry prices showed little movement last week. Chicken prices remained strong, with the Georgia dock price for whole broilers holding at $1.09/lb., compared to $1.0475/lb. last year. Turkey prices held at $1.02-1.10/lb. for both hens and toms. Egg prices rose 4-6 cents/doz. across all regions, with large eggs at $1.21-1.25/doz. delivered to the Northeast, $1.21-1.24/doz. to the Southeast and $1.17-1.20/doz. to the Midwest.
Beef recall: Wolverine Packing Co., a Detroit, Mich., establishment, is recalling approximately 1.8 million lb. of ground beef products that may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) announced May 19. The recalled ground beef products were produced between March 31 and April 18, 2014, and bear the establishment number "EST. 2574B." These products were shipped to distributors for restaurant use in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio; they were not distributed to the U.S. Department of Defense, the National School Lunch Program or for catalog/internet sales. Factors that can contribute to the size of the recall include potential contamination of additional products due to a lack of microbiological independence between lot production, as well as a deficiency in supportive recordkeeping by distributors. FSIS was notified of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on May 12, with 11 cases identified in four states. The onset dates range from April 22 to May 2.