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CME: Choice Boxed Beef Prices Strong During W1-W17/2019

02 May 2019

US - Choice boxed beef prices have been strong in the first 17 weeks of 2019, according to Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

Last week choice boxed beef cutout averaged $233.49 per cwt, $15/cwt higher than last year and $10/cwt above the five year average. Only one week in 2019 has registered below a year ago and this has gone a long way to support fed cattle prices in face of larger cattle supplies.

One of the more interesting aspects has been the behavior in certain wholesale cut markets. All choice primal values were showing year-over-year increases last week. Rounds and flanks are up 4 percent compared to the same week last year and short plates are up 3 percent.

Short plates gained notable ground last year with the rise in beef exports and have added 3 percent to 2018 lofty values and are 11 percent over 2017’s. Chuck primal values are up 5 percent.

The chuck is 29.62 percent of the carcass, coming from the shoulder area and is known for producing flavorful roasts, typically demanded in colder temperatures. It also produces a few "grillready" cuts such as flat iron steaks.

Last year, the chuck primal played a larger role in supporting the cutout in early spring, while this year several chuck wholesale cuts have struggled.

The chuck roll has been one of those sub-primal values, although the five year average last year was an anomaly with large gains being made in the first half of the year.

The Chuck roll neck off (116A), one of the larger portions of the chuck sub-primal accounts for 19.82 percent of the chuck primal according to USDA AMS.

This year that value is down 11% in the latest week, compared to last year, which showed a 14 percent increase over 2017. Still, the overall chuck primal is up nearly $6/cwt.

Choice rib and loin primal values continue to command the most attention of the beef cutout. The rib primal was up 14 percent last week and Loins were up 18 percent.

Bone-In, light, and heavy ribeyes are up 8-10 percent last week. Loin tri-tips (185C and 185D) posted the largest percentage gain last week, up 34 percent and 43 percent.


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


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