October 28, 2003



US Cattle Prices At Its Peak Right Now

U.S. cattle prices are at an all-time high, meaning higher prices at the supermarket for local beef consumers, experts say.


Agriculture Department Economists say record prices have gone up 34% since July, USA Today reported Friday. This month the benchmark price of Nebraska choice steers went from $90 to $116 per 100 pounds. A year ago, the price was $64 per 100 pounds.


"We've seen increases in the last 10 days," said Jim Robb, director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver. "Choice T-bone steak and New York strip steak, those prices are double what they were three weeks ago."


Robb says consumer demand for beef has increased nearly 10% since 1998 after declining for 20 years, which probably attributes to popularity of high-protein diets.


Also, the escalation of cattle prices could be due to the banned imports of Canadian cattle and beef five months ago because of the discovery of a case of mad cow disease there last spring.

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