May 6

5/6 – Beef middle meats and ground beef are in the midst of their annual seasonal price run-up ahead of the big 3 grilling holidays – Memorial Day (5/27), Father’s Day (6/16) and July 4th. So far this year, #180 choice boneless strips at $8.17/lb are up 54.7% after starting the year a $5.28 – and are currently 4.5% above a year ago. Look for boneless strips to have a $8.50 market top in late-May. Strips peaked at $8.93 on 6/5 last year and averaged $8.33 in May; $8.15 in June. Prices this year should be a bit lower, projected at $8.25 in May and $7.65 in June. Most middle meat prices should follow a similar pattern. In trimmings, beef 90s are $2.22 vs. $2.17 a year ago, look to average $2.23 for May vs $2.20 last year and be even with a year ago at $2.21 in June. Beef 50s will be at year ago levels in May ($.87 average) but should remain strong at $.80 in June vs. $.68 last year.

Sheena Levi