Boxed beef prices continue upward swing

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Boxed beef prices have moved higher this month, following a seasonal pattern after a downward trend since May. The Choice cutout value for August 13 averaged $195.60 per hundredweight, up from $192.35 a week earlier on August 14 and from seasonal lows near $180 earlier this month.

Market Increase The Choice cutout price climbed above $200 per hundredweight for the first time earlier this spring, and peaked at around $210 in May.

With the Select cutout at $184.82 on Tuesday, the Choice-Select spread was $10.98, up from a low around $5 in late July.

Weekly steer dressed weights, now averaging just under 800 pounds, are about equal to those of a year ago and following a similar seasonal trend, with weights increasing through the summer toward a seasonal peak that typically occurs in the late fall. There is speculation that dressed weights could drop below those of a year ago in the coming months due to the moratorium on the use of ZIlmax.

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