Beefenomics: Cattle market update, resilient beef demand

William Secor, Ph.D., University of Georgia Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics

July 7, 2023

grilling

Grilling season has begun in earnest. Beef price data suggests beef demand is strong during this important sales period. Retail prices for the month of May jumped by three percent compared to last month, are five percent above last year, and well above the previous 5-year average. Recent weekly beef cutout values are also at historically high levels, approaching levels similar to summer 2021. This suggests that demand strength has continued into June.

These higher prices at the wholesale and retail level support higher live cattle, feeder cattle, and calf prices. Over the last month, all of these prices have seen a move higher. Steer calf (500-600 lbs) prices in Georgia averaged about $245/cwt during the week ending June 9, up a little under 50 percent from this time last year. Feeder steer (700-800 lbs) prices in Georgia averaged around $213/cwt during the same week, up a little over 50 percent compared to this time last year.

Consumer demand will be an area to watch over the coming months. Will the consumer start switching to other proteins? The recent price data discussed above suggests this is not the case so far for most consumers. However, some anecdotal evidence is starting to suggest there may be some consumers purchasing alternative protein sources like chicken. Moreover, many predict that the U.S. economy will enter a recession in the coming months. An economic downturn would certainly increase the likelihood that consumers will make this switch.

Southern Livestock

More News

Cover Story

Largest wildfire in Texas history continues 

Texas A&M Forest Service encourages caution, prevention as wildfire potential increases over the weekend  The largest wildfire in ...
Columnists

Texas Trails

Tales of Old Tascosa Tascosa was the kind of Old West town where a man could get killed ...
Production

Rates are likely impacting producer interest in expansion

USDA’s cattle inventory report confirmed that the U.S. cowherd continued to get smaller during 2023. Higher input costs, ...
Feed & Nutrition

Minerals: Too much of a good thing

Minerals are an essential nutrient for beef cattle which means, like protein and energy, minerals must be supplied ...
Reproduction

Managing and developing young beef bulls

There are as many ways to feed and develop young beef bulls as there are seedstock producers. There ...
Crop and Weather

South Texas citrus poised for a comeback

South Texas citrus poised for a comeback By Paul Schattenberg, Texas AgriLife Today The Texas citrus crop quality ...