Increase in U.S. beef production leads to lower beef prices at the meat case
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — As consumers shop at the meat case this holiday season and into the new year, they'll see lower retail prices on beef, including popular holiday cuts like the tenderloin and rib roast.
November 2016 was the largest beef production month since 2010, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to raise its beef production forecast for 2016 in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), released December 9. As a result, industry experts at CattleFax, a beef industry analyst firm here, reported today beef prices are down more than 10 percent from the highs of late 2014.
Beef production is currently on an upward trend, with production projected to rise 6 percent in 2016 and another 4 percent in 2017, according to CattleFax.
"As beef production has increased and demand remains exceptionally strong, better prices will be passed on to consumers," said Lance Zimmerman, market analyst, CattleFax. "This holiday season, it means consumers can expect to see lower pricing reflected in retail advertising, better promotions on beef and more limited-time offers on menu items."
Putting beef deals in consumers' hands
The nation's cattle farmers and ranchers contribute marketing dollars collected through the Beef Checkoff Program to promote beef sales. For example, farmers and ranchers are working with Ibotta, a smartphone app that offers rebates on groceries and other items. Consumers who download the Ibotta app can browse the Grocery category for rebates on fresh ground beef, steaks and roasts, unlock the rebates, and then buy these items at more than 80 retailers to get cash back through Ibotta.
"With more beef available, it's an ideal opportunity for consumers to take advantage of lower prices at the meat case," said Tracy Brunner, a beef producer from Ramona, Kan., and current president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. "We're helping consumers do exactly that with valuable promotions and tips for easily incorporating beef into their meal planning during the holidays and into the new year."
In addition to favorite holiday cuts, consumers will also find good deals on lean beef cuts, such as top sirloin and strip steak – good news for consumers who are looking to curb their craving heading into the holidays and the new year.
"Research shows that lean sources of protein like beef can support a healthy weight by helping you feel fuller, longer, making high-calorie snacks and desserts less tempting," said Dr. Shalene McNeill, Ph.D., R.D., executive director of human nutrition at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.
A "Your Guide to Holiday Entertaining" infographic with recipes including beef – from party appetizers to holiday roasts – can be found at http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/holiday.
For visuals, b-roll is available for use at https://vimeo.com/194685876/4f4e60de8e and a quick holiday roast tutorial video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-oKPJ0qk18&t=9s.
About the Beef Checkoff
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.