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CME: National Beef Retail Activity Index Lower in W33

22 August 2017

US - The national beef retail activity index was lower last week but largely following the normal seasonal decline, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

Beef retail activity rebounds into Labor Day weekend and it is notably higher in October. This increase coincides with the general improvement in price that we see for end cuts during that time of year, with chucks and rounds normally getting some support in the fall.

The retail beef activity index for week ending 18 August was down 8 per cent from last year and it was down by a similar amount the previous week as well. This contrasts with the extremely high beef retail activity in March and then in May, periods when we saw notable price appreciation for beef items.

Ground beef prices at retail were substantially lower than a year ago during spring and early summer, which may have contributed to robust sales for those items. The average national feature price for 80-89 per cent ground beef last week was $3.45/lb, 3.6 per cent higher than a year ago.

In the last couple of weeks feature ground beef prices have averaged in the $3.50 range compared to $3.25 in Mar, April and May.

Higher ground beef retail prices, seasonally higher fed cattle carcass weights and potentially weaker demand from Asian markets for plates likely contributed to the weakness for fat beef trimmings.

Fat trim prices hit $2/lb in May but currently are trading in the mid 60s, that’s quite an adjustment for an item that accounts for as much as 10 per cent of the carcass.

Daily Livestock Report - Copyright © 2008 CME. All rights reserved.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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