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Agricultural News

Spot Choice Boxed Beef Sets New All-Time Highs

Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:51:36 CDT

Spot Choice Boxed Beef Sets New All-Time Highs
Ed Czerwein of the USDA's Amarillo, Texas, office reports the daily spot choice boxed beef cutout ended the week last Friday at $240.44 after setting the new all-time record highs and was $4.42 higher than the previous Friday. Prices began to plateau out mid week, and actually slipped a little on Friday. There were only 561 loads sold for the week in the daily boxed beef cutout, which was eight percent of the total volume. Daily cutout volume continues to be subdued even more than normal.

The comprehensive or average choice cutout which includes all types of sales including formula exports and out-front, was $230.74 which was $4.21 higher. The total reported boxed beef volume was 6,718 loads, which was 334 loads higher than last week.   Exports were at 777 loads which was just a little better compared to the previous week.       

The formula trade was at 3,390 loads which was 78 higher than the last week. It was about 50 percent of the total loads sold this week

The out-front sales were 1,438 loads which was 199 loads more than the previous week. The big items this week were another 2 million pounds of brisket sold at about 19-20 below the current formula market, another 3.7 million pounds round product priced about $23 below the current formula trade and only 65,000 pounds ribeyes sold at $65 over the current formula trade. That's three weeks in a row of large out-front sales of brisket and round products priced at a considerable discount to the current trade.

In the spot trade for the primal cuts the trade was mixed with the outside primals showing signs of weakness and the middle meats were higher as would be expected as we start preparing for the upcoming grilling season. The outside primals which are rounds and chucks were steady to $4 lower, while the middle meats which are ribs and loins were $7-$18 higher. Grinding products were higher again and 50-percent trimmings jumped over $17 by Friday giving it a $66 increase since the beginning of February. Fifty-percent trimmings are the single largest cut in the cutout and therefore have a tremendous impact on the cutout price. Also fifties are an important component of the sausage industry and almost always spike prior to the beginning of the baseball season.

The cow cutout was $3 higher making it about $26 higher since the beginning of February. Ninety-percent trimmings were over $5 higher also after climbing $40 since the beginning of February. These high prices have spurred Australian beef exports to the US which have jumped 39 percent during February according to Australian Market information sources.

You can hear Ed Czerwein's full report by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.


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