The average Choice beef cutout price on Friday lost $2.55, finishing the week at $196.82 per hundredweight after nearly reaching the $200 mark earlier in the week. The price peaked at $199.38 per hundredweight on Wednesday, and dropped one cent to $199.37 on Thursday. The Select cutout also lost ground on Friday, dropping $2.85 to $179.70 per hundredweight.
The Choice-Select spread on Thursday stood at $16.82, according to USDA’s Friday beef cutout report.
Beef cutout prices have been on the rise over the past couple weeks, but the late-week decline left this week’s price about equal with last Friday, October 19, when the Choice cutout averaged $196.68 per hundredweight and Select stood at $180.45.
USDA’s Livestock Slaughter report, released today, shows beef production down significantly, suggesting prices could move higher. According to the report, September beef production, at 2.02 billion pounds, was 9 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.54 million head, down 12 percent from September 2011. The average live weight was up 33 pounds from the previous year, at 1,311 pounds. Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.95 billion pounds in September, down 6 percent from the 4.19 billion pounds produced in September 2011.