Farmer's Report

Beef Trends - May 29, 2020

All current beef pricing trends are based on USDA data as of May 27, 2020. Last week’s trends refer to the USDA market for the full week of May 18, 2020.

According to reports, multiple protein plants have now reopened their production facilities. According to Urner Barry, cattle harvested weekly in the United States is currently at 83% of normal production levels. Analysts are reporting that supplies will become more available with downward pricing pressure to the beef complex.

Live cattle traded between $1.10 and $1.20 last week. Asking prices have been listed at $1.22 this week, but no bids have surfaced as of Wednesday morning.

Last week’s harvest came in at 555,000 head, which is up 55,000 head from prior week. Although harvest numbers this week will be down from last week due to Memorial Day limiting the Monday harvest, the Tuesday-through-Saturday production is projected to be about 7-8% higher than the Tuesday-through-Saturday production from a week ago.

The grade for the week ending May 16th, 2020 reported with 12.2% grading on Prime, 71.6% grading on Choice, 12.6% grading on Select and ungraded reported at 3.6%.



Ground Chuck pricing took a sharp decrease last week after multiple weeks of record-high prices. Analysts expect declines to continue.


81/19 Ground Beef is following the same trend as the Ground Chuck. It’s a declining market with analysts undecided on where the floor will be as we head into June.

GROUND Beef 73/27:

73/27 Ground Beef is trending similarly to the other grinds, as prices have begun to drop.



The price of Peeled Knuckles went down last week. Analysts expect prices to continue to drop in the near-term.


The USDA correctly predicted that Inside Rounds would have large price declines last week. Analysts are reporting another price decrease this week, but the decline is considered moderate compared to the declines forecasted on other round cuts.


Bottom Round Flats experienced sharp declines last week and analysts are reporting that through two days of trading this week, Bottom Round Flats are experiencing some of the largest price declines of any beef cut.


Eye of Rounds also fell in price last week. Their outlook for the weeks ahead is similar to that of the other Round cuts.



Strip Loins experienced increased pricing last week. According to Urner Barry, early week trading is indicating that Strips will take another slight increase in price again this week.


Choice Top Butts reported a spike in price last week but Select product started to decline. No product has traded yet this week, but XT Top Butts have traded and those have been at discounted prices.


The price of Choice Tenderloins took a slight step back last week, but Select Tenders traded slightly up. Both grades of Tenders are reporting slightly higher prices this week, according to the USDA.



Light Ribeyes saw price discounting last week but Heavy Ribeyes traded at increased prices. Through two days of trading this week, both lights and heavies are posted at a slight price increase.



Chuck Rolls traded at a heavily discounted price last week and analysts are reporting that there will be another large discount when the market closes this week.


Teres Majors took price declines across all product grades last week. Similar to Chuck Rolls, mid-week trading has indicated that more declines are expected this week.


Choice Briskets took a price loss last week. According to analysts, while the market saw increased prices with Select Briskets, the increase was more of a market correction, as the price from two weeks ago was abnormally low compared to similar products. Both grades have been trading lower so far this week.



Ball Tips traded at a discount last week. Through two days of trading, analysts are reporting that the price of Choice Ball Tips is expected to increase this week.


Flap Meat prices declined slightly last week. Urner Barry is reporting more slight declines for the Choice grade but is reporting that Select product has been increasing slightly in price.


Flanks took slight price declines last week. Both grades are showing slightly higher prices through two days this week.


Similar to Flanks, Skirts traded lower last week but analysts are reporting increased prices as we get further into the current trading week.

The data contained in the Farmer’s Report is provided for informational purposes only, is not tailored to your specific purchasing needs, and is not intended as a substitute for any other publicly-available market data or information. The Farmer’s Report is compiled from the last-received market data provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and/or other market sources, and is subject to change without notice. Nothing herein is the opinion of US Foods®. US Foods neither assumes any legal liability nor makes any warranty or guaranty, either express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy or usefulness of this information.