Beef Trends - May 7, 2021
All current beef pricing trends are based on USDA data as of May 5, 2021. Last week’s trends refer to the USDA market for the full week of April 26, 2021.
Cattle mostly traded between $1.18 and $1.20/lb. last week. Analysts are projecting this week’s live cattle market to be steady to possibly lower.
Last week’s harvest came in at 649,000 head, which is down about 15,000 head from the week prior. Harvest is on track to be steady this week after the first three days of the week.
The grade for the week ending April 24, 2021 reported with 83.7% of cattle grading Choice or higher, 13.2% grading on Select and Ungraded reported at 3.1%.
Due to increased demand, and production levels being lower than projections for the better part of the last month, boxed beef prices continue to reach historically high levels, according to analysts. Packers have cited labor issues as the reason for the lack of production. It is unclear how long this period of inflation will last, according to analysts. Most beef cuts, most notably on the Middle Meats and Thin Meats, experienced price increases last week and are up again through the first three days of trading in the current week.
Ground Chuck took a price increase last week. Prices have continued to increase through three days of trading this week.
GROUND BEEF 81/19:
81/19 Ground Beef also traded up last week. Prices have been up through three days of trading this week.
GROUND Beef 73/27:
73/27 Ground Beef is following the same pricing trends as the Ground Chuck and 81/19 Ground Beef.
Both grades of Peeled Knuckles were up modestly last week. That trend has continued through three days of trading this week.
Inside Rounds took a price increase last week. Both grades have been up slightly through three days of trading this week.
BOTTOM ROUND FLATS:
Outside Rounds traded at a slightly increased price last week. Through three days of trading this week, both grades have continued to trade at higher prices.
EYES OF ROUND:
Choice Eyes of Round were up last week; however, the Select Eyes of Round were one of the only items on the Beef section of Farmer’s Report to trade down last week. The Select grade has rebounded this week, and both grades have been trading at higher prices through three days of trading.
As analysts expected, Strips traded at increased prices last week. That trend has continued through the first three days of this week for both grades.
Top Butts were up last week after slightly discounted prices two weeks ago. On limited trades this week, both grades have traded at increased prices.
Tenders went up in price again last week, and analysts expect that trend to continue in the short term on all grades. Current Tenderloin pricing is comparable to levels historically only seen during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday period.
Like Tenderloin pricing trends, Ribeyes increased in price last week and analysts expect that trend to continue in the short term.
Choice Chuck Rolls traded at higher prices last week, but the Select grade discounted in price. This week, both grades are experiencing similar trends.
Teres Majors were up in price last week and that trend has continued into this week.
Briskets were up in price last week and both grades have continued to trade at higher prices this week. Current Brisket prices are historically high, according to analysts.
Ball Tips were up in price last week and analysts expect that trend to continue this week, as prices have reached historically high levels, according to Urner Barry.
Flap Meat continues to be in high demand even after Cinco de Mayo buying has passed. Prices increased last week and have continued to trade even higher this week. Current prices are higher than normal for this cut, according to analysts.
Flank Steak prices were up last week. Both grades have continued that trend this week.
Skirt Steak increased in price last week and has continued to trade at higher prices through three days of trading this 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.