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CME: Grocery Store Beef Prices in April Mixed

17 May 2019

US - Grocery store beef prices in April were mixed, based on data from USDA-Economic Research Service (ERS) calculations derived from the Bureau of Labor monthly consumer price survey, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

The composite value of Choice grade beef moved up to the highest value since June 2017. Meanwhile, the price of beef sold in fresh form, which includes beef from cows, bulls and imported beef along with Choice grade beef from steers and heifers, fell below the year and month earlier prices. The fresh beef price metric was down 1 percent from a year earlier compared to being 2-3 percent higher at the start of the year.

At the retail level, rising prices for Choice grade beef and stable- to-lower prices for beef sourced for grinding material is consistent with the beef supply situation during the first quarter of 2019. Steer and heifer beef production during the first quarter was down 1 percent from a year earlier due to lighter average carcass weights and a 4 percent decline in steer slaughter (heifer slaughter was up 8 percent but heifer carcasses are smaller than steers).

Beef production from cows and bulls along with imported beef volumes during the first quarter was up 2 percent from a year earlier. Lean beef prices at the wholesale level averaged 6 cents per pound (3 percent) less during the first quarter than a year earlier for both domestic and imported product. Fifty percent lean beef prices at the wholesale level were 17 percent cheaper than a year ago during the first quarter, providing the rationale for aggressive pricing at the retail level this quarter.

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

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