Meat Market Update | COVID pushes cutout to all-time record price

Prices continue to march higher, breaking all-time records as COVID-19 continued to slow plants. Ed Czerwien, market analyst based in Amarillo, Texas, explains.

Ed Czerwien, Market Reporter

April 30, 2020

The daily spot Choice box beef cutout ended the week on Friday, April 24 at $293.37, which was $54.38 higher compared to previous Friday, as beef sales prices improved again as plants close because of COVID-19 outbreaks. That is highest number ever recorded. Last year, it was $232.99 on the same Friday, which was almost steady to the week prior. This week all of the major daily primals were $32-98 higher, with the rib and loin gaining the most.  

The daily Choice cutout then continued to climb higher and set a new all-time highest price at $330.82 on Tuesday, April 28.

There were only 4,555 total loads sold for the week, which was 693 loads lower than the previous week, as some plant shut downs and others run at slower production.   

The estimated weekly total FIS cattle harvest for week ending 4/25 was 465,000 head, which compared to 642,000 head the same week last year. We've now seen three weeks of well over 100,000 head lower than last year due to plant closures and slowdowns.


About the Author(s)

Ed Czerwien

Market Reporter

Ed Czerwien is a market analyst in Amarillo, Texas. From the heart of Cattle Feeding Country, Ed follows the cattle and wholesale markets to keep beef producers up-to-date on the market moves that affect them. He previously worked with USDA as a Market News reporter. Ed is now semi-retired and continues to work with cattle trade analysis.

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