The daily spot Choice box beef cutout ended the week last Friday at $213.47, which was $5.54 higher compared to previous Friday and was helped by another big jump in the daily choice rib primal. The rib primal was $14 higher again during the week. Typically we see a seasonal climb in the rib primal, but this jump started well ahead of the last few years and has climbed $36/cwt. during October alone. Also, it is currently about $35 higher than last year at this time.
In recent years, the employee Christmas parties at many companies used Prime Rib as the feature meat, which really changed the demand for the rib primal this time of the year. Additionally, rib product sales at retail stores have become more important for home food items between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The rib products are definitely filling the sales gap between those two holidays, but most of the wholesale sales are actually made ahead of time which is why the prices normally start to drop when we get into December.