Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Jody Knoblich
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
jknoblich@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Grillers will find hefty beef prices

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Bloomberg News
Published:
CHICAGO — Cattle futures extended a rally to a record as Americans are gearing up to pay the most ever for beef served at barbecues over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Prices for wholesale beef jumped 23 percent this year, reaching an all-time high of $2.4813 a pound this week, and cattle prices have climbed 15 percent. Futures are rising after years of drought parched pastures in Texas, the top producer, forcing ranchers to shrink the U.S. herd to the smallest in 63 years.
Reduced supplies drove retail prices for ground beef and and boneless-sirloin steak to records. Meat costs are increasing at a time when drought in California is making produce more expensive, and rising demand for U.S. dairy exports is also adding to grocery bills. An index tracking foods popular at barbecues rose 5.1 percent in May from a year earlier to the highest ever for the month, signaling record consumer expenses for holiday cookouts.
“We're going to see beef as becoming the rich man's meat,” said Chad Henderson, the president of Prime Agricultural Consultants in Brookfield, Wisconsin. “It is very, very expensive.”
Consumers will pay as much as 6.5 percent more for beef and veal this year, the biggest gain of any food group, the Department of Agriculture forecasts. The cost of beef for Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill rose 25 percent in April from the fourth quarter of 2013, a “pretty dramatic” increase that prompted the restaurant chain to boost menu prices, said Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement rose 0.7 percent to $2.17625 a pound on the CME, after touching an all- time high of $2.18775 Wednesday.
Beef and dairy farmers held 87.7 million head of cattle as this year began, the fewest since 1951, the latest data from the USDA show.
Expanding the cattle herd to boost beef output is a slow process. The gestation for calves is nine months and animals take as long as 22 months to reach slaughter weight.
Prices “are going to stay high,” Dick Quiter, an account executive at Chicago-based McFarland Commodities, said Wednesday. “You're probably looking at a two-year cycle from now into 2016 before cow numbers are ramped back up to what they were.”
Story tags » DroughtFood

Related

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus