Retail meat prices are still high | Land and Livestock

ADAM RUSSELL Texas A&M AgriLife Supplement

Retail meat prices are still higher than last year as consumers plan for traditional summer gatherings, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Wholesale beef prices for many cuts are lower than this time last year, but retail prices haven’t come down yet, said David Anderson, an economist with AgriLife Extension, at Bryan-College Station. Beef and pork production continued to exceed last year’s levels despite rising feed costs, but demand kept pace with high supplies.

“I think part of the retail price is that consumer demand is still there, and there’s a rise in logistics and labor costs,” he said. “But I would argue that a lot of that has to do with timing, and that lower wholesale prices have not yet reached consumers on the retail side. In that case, some lower prices may emerge over the coming weeks.”

Beef prices are higher for consumers

Anderson said the national weekly rates for wholesale beef cuts ranging from boneless ribs to roasted shoulder and brisket were significantly lower than they were last year.

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Wholesale select rib steaks were $8.56 a pound compared to $12.63 a pound in 2021, or 32% less, according to a wholesale report. The roasting option was $2.62 per pound compared to $3.19 per pound last year, and the roasting option was $2.97 per pound compared to $4.40 per pound last year.

Anderson said beef supplies are as high as this time last year, though he notes that grade qualities were higher last year with more optional cuts available.

Anderson said retail-choice steaks are one of the exceptions, with prices down at $10.97 per pound compared to $12.37 per pound last year. Brisket retail prices are $4 a pound compared to $3.13 a pound. And sirloin steaks, which are used in fajitas, were $10.17 a pound compared to $9.77 a pound last year.

More grocery stores are offering beef cuts than last year, according to a retail survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Grocery store features include advertised-priced products, and about 69% of retail stores featured different cuts of beef. About 19% were offering beef cuts on specials, defined as a “no price” promotion, including “buy one, get one free” or get one free with the purchase of other merchandise.

Pork and chicken prices

Anderson said higher retail prices may direct some consumers to lower-cost products such as ground beef or other meats such as pork or chicken. However, both pork and chicken are facing a similar pricing trend for generally higher priced beef.

Mass retail pork chops with some were higher and lower than last year, with the batter hitting $4.82 per pound compared to $3.82 per pound last year, or 21% higher. Retail poultry prices were similarly higher with boneless/skinless breasts $3.25 per pound compared to $2.69 per pound, or 17% higher per pound compared to last year, and boneless breasts 24% higher at $1.26 per pound compared to 98 cents per pound last. general.

“We’re seeing higher costs on most things, but overall, I think lower wholesale beef prices give us some hope of lower prices this summer,” he said.

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