Beef Bounces Back

Cattle prices exploded this week, rebounding from a six-year low. Prices rose by more than 5.5 cents per pound, “locking limit up” at one point on Thursday, as the market moved the daily maximum of 3 cents per pound.

The market was especially active Friday after the market resumed trading as ranchers, meatpackers, and traders positioned themselves ahead of the USDA’s monthly Cattle on Feed Report, which was released after the market closed.

Cheap boneless beef is catching consumers’ eyes, and retailers are reporting that they are moving inventory at an increasing pace. This boosted demand gives credence to the adage that “low prices cure low prices.”

Despite this week’s jump, cattle prices are still abysmally low for producers, and wondrously cheap for shoppers, with live cattle trading Friday near $1.02 per pound.