Farmer's Report

Beef Trends - October 11, 2019

All current beef pricing trends are based on USDA data as of Oct. 9, 2019. Last week’s trends refer to the USDA market for the full week of Sept. 30, 2019.

Cash cattle were up $3-4 last week, trading between $106-107/cwt. This week’s cash asking prices from feeders are listed from $110-112, with no packers’ bids surfacing as of yet.

Last week’s ending harvest came in at 639K head, down 9K from the previous week, and of that, 515K were of the steer/heifer variety, down 5K head week-over-week. 

The grade for the week ending Oct. 7, 2019 came in with 76.8% of all the steers and heifers grading Choice or higher, down 0.6% from the week prior. Select product was higher at 19.3% and Ungraded also reported up at 3.9%.



The ground chuck market for the most part saw steady pricing last week. This market historically declines through early October, before seasonal gains through mid-November.


81/19 ground beef saw a slight decline last week. Like ground chuck, 81-blend ground beef historically declines through early October, before seasonal gains into November.

GROUND Beef 73/27:

The 73/27 ground beef market also took a modest decline in price last week. The 73-blend ground beef market is historically like ground chuck and 81/19 ground beef in terms of the short-term outlook.



Choice peeled knuckles traded steady last week, while the Select grade saw a modest decline. Peeled knuckles historically trade relatively flat through the remainder of the year, but analysts are calling for this market to gradually decline into the fall.


Choice and Ungraded inside rounds saw modest declines last week, while the Select grade gained modestly. Although prices are above three-year seasonal averages for inside rounds, this item historically trades relatively flat to slightly higher through October.


Outside rounds traded down last week. The price is higher than historical averages, and analysts are forecasting prices should slowly ease into the fall season.


Eyes of round traded down last week. Although eyes of round historically gain in price from early October through early November, both grades are showing downward movement in the current week’s market.



The strip loin market continued to decline last week—however, at a slower rate than the previous five weeks. Market analysts are projecting more weakness for strip loins over the coming weeks.


Top butts traded flat last week. Historically, top butts trade down for a few more weeks, before slight gains take us through the remainder the year.


All graded tenders traded up modestly last week. Tenderloins appear to have started their seasonal climb, and are forecasted to continue to increase through the holiday season.



Graded ribeyes also increased in price last week. Ribeyes have been in short supply, especially light ribeyes, and analysts are seeing the start of the seasonal increases that should continue into the late fall.



Chuck rolls traded down modestly on both the Choice and Select grades last week. The chuck roll market is forecasted to increase until late October/early November.


All graded Teres Majors traded up moderately last week, with availability posing an issue with some packers. Historical data suggests that the Teres Major market typically trades flat to slightly up through the remainder of the year.


Choice briskets increased at a modest rate. The brisket market typically takes a slow climb through the remainder of the year; however, the USDA market is currently more expensive for briskets than it has historically been over the last three years during this time of the year. Analysts believe this market could be steady to down entering the fall season.



Ball tips traded flat across the board last week. This market historically bottoms out in early October before flattening out to close the year.


Choice flap meat traded at steady money last week, while the Select grade saw a moderate decline. Like ball tips, historical data suggests that this market will bottom out in early October.


Flank steaks were down modestly last week as well. Historical data would suggest that this market will take a slow decline through the remainder of the year; however, current USDA reporting is showing strength so far this week on Choice graded product.


The outside skirt market traded at a discount last week. Historical data suggests that the outside skirt market will trade lower through mid-October before flattening out in November and December.

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.