Retail beef prices recede in May, wholesale prices soar

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Average price values for U.S. wholesale beef bounced back from a down month in April to reach its highest level ever recorded.

May wholesale beef values averaged $3.14 per pound, an increase of more than 22 cents from the previous month. Wholesale beef values are almost 31 cent per pound higher than a year ago and above $3 per pound for only the second time in two years.

Retail ground beef prices increased by almost five cents from the previous month, averaging $3.31 per pound. Lean and extra lean ground beef prices were also five cents higher than the previous month at $4.86 per pound. Choice sirloin steak retail prices fell seven cents lower in May, dropping to $6.79 per pound. Sirloin steak prices have fallen steadily since reaching a high of $7.08 per pound in February.

The meat price spreads data, released by the USDA on Tuesday, shows the gross farm value of beef remained even with the previous month at $3.06 per pound. The record high farm value has stayed around the three-dollar point since last September.

USDA data shows the farmers’ share of the average beef price in May increased 0.8 percent to 51.6 percent, reaching its highest share since December.

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