We are extremely excited to publish our first ever beef industry update. Once a month, we will highlight the meats side of our business. Some months will consist of market updates, others will introduce new products, and on occasion announce product giveaways and limited-time promotions.
It is easy to forget that just a few short years ago, the American Heartland was mired in a drought that forced many cattle ranchers to cut back beef production or leave the cattle business altogether. Once the drought broke, some producers returned to the business, others increased production, and the process of slowly rebuilding the national herd took place.
One benefit of this market life-cycle is that when producers culled their herds, they naturally held back their best animals with promising genetics and saved them for future production. Weeding out so many of the ‘weak sisters’ has significantly improved the QUALITY of the beef supply in ways that we have never seen before. In recent weeks, as much as 6-7% of graded beef achieved PRIME status, more than double the 2-3% average that we are historically accustomed to.
Because of this, there is currently a shortage of USDA Select and No-Roll beef available; the smallest supply in over 30 years. Operators who built their businesses around these lower quality grades are now paying premiums, close to CHOICE pricing for many SELECT and ungraded cuts.
... Sooo what does all of this mean for the beef industry moving forward?
The Bad News: This spring, we have seen a temporary shortage of harvest-ready cattle in the pipeline, leading to sharply higher prices, exacerbated by the seasonal pressures related to Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.
The Good News: Long-term forecasts remain very optimistic, with plenty of high-quality beef coming to market this Summer and Fall. By July, supply should exceed demand and beef pricing is expected to begin a downward trend that will carry into the Winter months. Pricing on all middle meats (the good stuff!) is expected to be significantly less than they were at the same time in years past.
The Best News: Certified Angus Beef continues to offer the most consistent, high-quality supply of beef available.
There has never been a better time to upgrade your restaurant’s beef supply!
At Land & Sea, we are huge fans of the Certified Angus Beef brand and welcome the opportunity to discuss how the world's best beef can be used in YOUR restaurant.