April 2024 Market Update

April 22, 2024

Your monthly update on the state of the pork, poultry, beef, and seafood industries, direct from your Y. Hata category specialists.

Please contact your Account Manager for questions.


Despite the ongoing cattle shortage, there remains adequate supply to meet consumer demand. Even with cattle inventory being at historical low levels, ranchers have yet to expand their herds and retain heifers. Packers continue to maintain reduced hours at their plants and limit slaughter levels as they remain challenged to achieve profitable margins.

Consumer demand for beef continues to remain strong, which is supporting higher price levels. With cattle being kept on feed longer, grading remains good for choice, premium, and prime. However, availability for lower grades such as select remains tight.

  • Ribeye pricing has softened recently due to reduced demand but remains at elevated levels.
  • Striploin pricing continues to increase and is on par with ribeye pricing levels. What remains to be seen is if retailers back off from striploin ad features due to the higher pricing.
  • Chuck flat pricing will be increasing next month due to the high cost of cattle and reduced slaughter levels.
  • Chuck Roll pricing is starting to show softness but has yet to decrease significantly as retailers continue to feature end cuts as a lower cost alternative to middle meats.
  • Sliced beef short rib pricing will be increasing this month due to limited availability.
  • Oxtail prices remain steady and are not expected to decrease until we approach the warmer summer months.

With beef prices at historically high levels, what remains to be seen is whether consumers shift to pork & poultry which are more abundant and lower priced.

Prairie Creek Seasoned Patties


With chicken being an affordable protein option for consumers, most chicken parts have found support at higher price levels as demand has increased. 

The supply of chicken remains good relative to demand, but poultry producers remain vigilant concerning the HPAI bird flu as the spring wild bird migration has started.

  • Bone-In Thighs – Availability for Bone-In Thighs remains limited as retailers continue to secure inventory for their ad features.
  • Boneless Skinless Thighs – Boneless Skinless Thighs continues to be one of the more sought-after chicken parts with increased prices reflective of this strength in the marketplace.
  • Leg Meat – Chicken leg meat remains in high demand domestically with buyers having to pay higher prices to secure inventory.
  • Breast Meat – Breast meat prices continue to increase with retailers featuring this prominently in their spring ads.
  • Wings – Wing demand remains strong with inventory difficult to secure.
  • Turkey – The HPAI bird flu remains an area of concern, however turkey prices remain a value primarily due to excess inventory in cold storage.

Overall poultry demand and prices remain strong as all chicken parts are in strong forward sold positions. 

Chicken Sandwich


With pork prices being at attractive levels and lower priced than poultry, retailers have stepped in to feature pork more prominently in their ad features. Even with increased pork demand, there remains a surplus of hogs in the supply chain.

  • Butts – Boneless butt prices continue to increase due to strong export demand to Korea and increased domestic demand.
  • Back Ribs – Rib prices continue to increase as retailers secure inventory for future ads as warmer weather begins and people look to gather for backyard BBQs.
  • Bellies – Belly prices remain at elevated levels and continue to support the pork cutout.
  • Hams – Ham prices have remained strong despite being past the Easter holiday with increased export demand to Mexico.

With increased pork demand, we should expect higher pricing as we approach the warmer summer months.

Pork Roast


Snow Crab

  • The Canadian snow crab season has begun fishing with reduced quotas compared to last year. 2 of the 4 areas have sent reports that 25-30% of their quota has completed harvesting.
  • Japanese inventories are low and will be looking at Canada to replenish their inventories.
  • The Russian Snow Crab fleet is focused on supplying the Asian Live market.
  • Expect pricing to be higher than 2023 prices.

Cold Water Atlantic Lobster Tails

  • The main Canadian season will begin at the end of April and close at the end of June.
  • Demand for the live and frozen markets is still very strong. Prices have strengthened with the expectation of higher prices to last through 2024.

Mahi Mahi

  • The South American Mahi Mahi Season is now complete, and the Southeast Asian season started at the beginning of April.
  • There is a decent supply of 7/up Fillets which will last us until the Taiwan season is processed and shipped.
  • Pricing and supply remain stable.

Vanamei White Shrimp

  • India and Ecuador still have a decent supply of product shipping into the US.
  • Prices are currently holding steady for all types of shrimp.
Seafood - Snow Crab