COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS- The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension released its latest finding for the continued increase of retail meat prices for 2022.
In his analysis, David Anderson, PhD, economist at Texas A&M, explained that wholesale beef prices for many cuts remain lower than the previous year. However, retail prices remain high.
“I suspect part of the retail prices is consumer demand is still there, and there are higher logistical and labor costs being passed along,” he said. “But I would argue a lot of it is timing, and lower wholesale prices have not yet reached consumers at the retail side. In that case, some lower prices might show up over the coming weeks.”
Anderson added that national weekly averages for wholesale beef cuts were much lower than Memorial Day 2021 when it comes to certain cuts including boneless rib-eyes, shoulder roasts and briskets.
According to the report, wholesale choice rib-eye steaks were $8.56 per pound compared to $12.63 per pound in 2021. Choice roasts were $2.62 per pound compared to $3.19 per pound last year, and choice briskets were $2.97 per pound compared to $4.40 per pound last year.
For other cuts like brisket, retail prices were $4 per pound compared to $3.13 per pound the previous year. Flank steaks were $10.17 per pound compared to $9.77 per pound in 2021.
A US Department of Agriculture retail survey cited by Anderson indicated that grocery stores featured beef cuts compared to last year.
“It’s interesting that average monthly retail beef prices have not come down in response to the falling wholesale prices,” Anderson said. “It could be that lower wholesale prices are allowing them to run specials leading into Memorial Day, or that we could be heading toward lower retail prices in the near future.”
Anderson also noted that pork and chicken are experiencing similar trends to beef with generally higher prices.
Retail pork cut prices had a wide range with some higher and lower than last year, with spareribs priced $4.82 per pound compared to $3.82 per pound in 2021.
“We’re seeing higher costs on most everything, but overall, I think the lower wholesale beef prices give us some hope for lower prices this summer,” he said.