Middle Meats Lead to Higher Beef Prices

Dr. Curt Lacy (UGA)

In case you haven’t noticed, wholesale beef prices broke above $200/ Cwt. a few weeks ago and have yet to back up (Figure 1).

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While certainly most of this increase can be directly tied to Memorial Day and the beginning of “GrillingSeason,” there are also some other important points that should be made. Significant year-to-year increases have occurred in the middle meats, namely ribeyes and strip loins(Figures 2 & 3).

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It should also be pointed that there has also been a substantial increase in the value of Boneless 50. In case you do not recall, Boneless 50 prices suffered tremendously last spring during the Lean Finely Textured Beef debacle. Since that time, Boneless 50 prices have rebounded and the product is now wholesaling for almost $1.00 per pound which is right in line with the 5-year average.

Will these beef prices hold and lead to higher cattle prices? Only time will tell, but it looks like we are off to a good start.

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