“The beef market and demand profile is evolving, especially in light of higher-priced cuts,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC). “More cuts of beef are being developed from the more affordable and available primal cuts such as the chuck.”
The LMIC folks recently conducted a basic analysis of annual changes in the percentage of value each primal cut contributes to carcass cutout value. The timeframe considered was 2006 to August of this year. They remind that beef carcasses are fabricated into seven primal cuts: brisket, chuck, flank, loin, rib, round and short plate.
“The rib to carcass cutout value ratio has decreased by 11% and the loin to carcass cutout has decreased by 21%,” LMIC analysts say. “Another interesting note are the short plate, chuck, and brisket to carcass cutout value ratio have increased by 22%, 25%, and 38%, respectively, since 2006. The flank to carcass cutout value ratio has increased by 7% and the calculated carcass cutout value itself has increased by 60% from 2006 to 2014.
The LMIC study underscores the trend that began appearing during the Great Recession, as lesser-value end meats began providing more support to the beef complex overall, rather than the more expensive middle meats.
“Although a simple analysis and comparison, the numbers tell an important story, wholesale aspects of the beef industry are changing,” LMIC analysts say. “Although we are not through 2014 yet, markets suggest prices will remain strong through the end of 2014, allowing the above comparisons to be relevant and reflect the impressive market conditions seen so far this year in the beef industry.”