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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Although the retail beef supply is expected to grow, along with relaxed prices in the short term, consumer preferences for pricier cuts may change says MeatingPlace reporter Michael Fielding.

Already, sales of bone-in ribeye have been reduced dramatically to 17.5 million pounds in the second quarter 2012 from 21.5 million pounds a year ago – an 18 percent drop. The same goes for the Porterhouse, which dropped to 9.1 million pounds from 11.6 million pounds, a 21-percent drop. This is according to the latest “Top 10 Cuts Lists” released by the Beef Checkoff.

Updated quarterly, the list reflects the most popular cuts in a variety of categories, from middle meats to lean cuts to pot roasts to steaks.

Boneless ribeye still leads the pack in the overall beef category, with 30 million pounds sold in the second quarter, up from 27.4 million the same time last year.

In the south central area which includes Texas, boneless ribeye also is the top selling lean cut and has grown in sales from 3.7 million pounds to 4.5 million pounds in the second quarter comparisons. Bone-in ribeye lost ground, falling from 3.4 million pounds in the second quarter of 2011 to 3.2 million pounds during that same period in 2012.

The most dramatic loss in the south central area was for T-bone steaks, falling from 2.9 million pounds during the second quarter of 2011 to 1.4 pounds in 2012, a 48 percent drop.

The list is released in the wake of USDA’s new beef production figures, which were raised for both 2012 and 2013 due to higher expected placements in feedlots and increased dairy cow slaughter in late 2012 and during 2013.

Cattle prices have been reduced from last month with the expectation of larger fed cattle marketings in both 2012 and 2013. However, prices are likely to remain strong in 2013, as total meat supplies are tight.


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