Beef prices: Another day, another record

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Wholesale beef prices continue to rise at a feverish pace, as Thursday’s National Daily Cattle and Beef Summary shows the Choice cutout averaging $228.79 per hundredweight and Select at $225.51. The day-to-day increases were $4.17 and $3.60 for Choice and Select accordingly.

A week earlier, on January 9, the Choice cutout averaged $212.05 per hundredweight and Select averaged $209.05.The report estimates week-to-date steer and heifer slaughter at 473,000 head, compared with 500,000 for the same period last year.The report also shows live steer sales this week averaging $141.79 per hundredweight and heifers averaging $141.96

View the report here.

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Nebraska  |  January, 17, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Wow! Look at what a great job the checkoff has done.

Arizona  |  January, 20, 2014 at 09:10 AM

Dave, not so fast with your conclusion regarding the effectiveness of the checkoff. Since its 1980 implementation, per capita consumption of beef at retail weight is down from 76.6 pounds to 57.4 pounds. Demand, which is what the checkoff was supposed to stimulate, has actually shrunk significantly. The beef cow inventory is at 1952 levels. In 1952, the U.S. population was just under 158 million: today it is just under 317 million. In short, while per capita consumption is down 25% since the inception of the checkoff, the 1952 level beef cow inventory is supplying a population that has doubled since that date. Since the checkoff began, the number of cattle producers is down 42% while cattle numbers dropped from 111.2 million head in 1980 to 90.8 million. In short, the checkoff has failed miserably to stimulate demand measured by per capita consumption. High prices are instead a reflection of a smaller supply coupled with significant population growth.

Kansas  |  January, 19, 2014 at 08:18 AM

And you reporters and speculators don't think that the importation of Brazilian beef by JBS is going to effect our market and consumer confidence (since they have FMD)? Now the NCBA president shared concerns over the importation of that beef from Brazil, is NCBA now a "protectionist"? I thought they loved competition at all cost, even when it puts the USA cattle industry in jeopardy. Just another fact! We should keep our cattle industry vibrant and profitable for a while and while we have great consumer confidence with a better COOL law!! To those who don't like it you should listen to the court hearing with AMI and the Justice Dept. judges on Dec. 9th ripping her foolish story apart. What a joke that NCBA sided with AMI to eliminate COOL.. Another big USA consumer mistake and for those who buy into the lie that the WTO has power against USA law you better rethink that one.. The only power they have is fear and political puppets in D.C. who don't have any balls to stand up for what is right and due in time.

January, 21, 2014 at 09:00 AM

Apparently there is no limit to what the American consumer will pay for beef. Sock it to 'em!! Finally I'm getting paid almost what I deserve for producing all this beef. I used to wish I had a decent pickup and now I have 3 of 'em...and a Cadillac! Loads of nice new farm equipment too - loaders, balers, work trucks, fourwheelers, snowmachines, several real nice antique tractors all restored, everything I ever dreamed of! $25 per pound for ground beef at the meat case isn't too much in my opinion. Better than playing in the stockmarket. Huge profits and practically no risk to me. Just keep jamming prices up until I tell you to stop (which will never happen). Niman Ranch had it right all along. The more you charge the more people want your product. Makes everyone feel smart and important. Nothing wrong with that.