Beef market to continue higher in December

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Supermarkets filled their meat cases with poultry and ham ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, but beef is expected to return to the spotlight as 2013 draws to an end.

University of Nebraska livestock economist Kate Brooks discussed the typical post-Thanksgiving rebound in the boxed beef market Monday on Agriculture Today on the K-State Radio Network.

Beef prices gained momentum in the week leading up to Thanksgiving with boxed beef moving above $200 again. Brooks says grocers are restocking beef supplies this week to offer more cold-weather beef items. Prices returned higher with support from loin primals and chuck values.

The price jump is expected to be a brief move higher with consumers seeking alternatives to turkey as they prepare for holiday gatherings. Supplies will also become more limited which will support prices as demand continues.

Increasing beef and cattle prices have some producers considering herd expansion. Brooks says there’s good moisture on the upper Plains, but there’s no guarantee for more rain in 2014. Some producers in her area are interested in rebuilding herds, however others are still holding back.

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