Beef prices higher in June, trend lower forecasted

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The latest Consumer Price Index by the USDA shows beef prices continued higher in June, but relief lies ahead for consumers as retail beef prices are expected to decline in the months ahead.

Retail beef increased by a marginal 0.4 percent in June compared to the previous month. The index shows an average price as beef prices started the month high and declined later in the month. The report shows higher steak prices, which increased by almost two percent in June were slightly countered by lower ground beef prices, which fell half a percent last month.

Prices are also higher compared to the previous year. June retail beef increased by 1.4 percent compared to 2012. The percentage increase matched the increase for all food from June 2012 to June 2013, which also moved 1.4 percent higher.

Next month’s report is expected to show lower prices as wholesale beef prices have been freefalling in July, a trend that will carry over to the retail side as well. An updated forecast by the USDA’s Economic Research Service has beef prices moving 2-3% lower during the remainder of the year. The trend will reverse in 2014 as the updated forecast shows an increase of 2.5-3.5% in 2014.

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