Ed Czerwien, USDA Market News reporter in Amarillo, TX, provides us with the latest outlook on boxed beef prices and the weekly cattle trade.
The forward contracts have made up a very large portion of the out-front sales these last two weeks, but their deliveries are normally spread over many months so they don't have much immediate support for the box beef trade. In fact, they quite often are made by large restaurant companies to lock prices in for their menus during the upcoming year.
The primal rib has been the only primal to provide much support for the Choice cutout lately. The primal rib has climbed from $296 on the first of October to $373 on the first of December. This has helped hold the Choice cutout up. Prime rib is a very important part of many company Christmas parties which pushed this primal higher, but it normally falls quite a bit after this seasonal rally.