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Choice beef cuts hit record highs

In this weekly Commodities Watch column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.

Memorial Day weekend brought with it some record high prices for choice beef cuts. Last week, boneless strips (USDA weighted average) jumped to $8.28 per pound, exceeding last year’s record-high of $8.08. Short loins are $7.21, compared with $6.98 last spring. Top butts hit $3.72, compared with $3.71 in 2012. Inside skirt is already at $3.82, compared with 2012’s $3.66 summer high.

A window of dry weather allowed corn farmers to get an incredible 43 percent of their crop in the ground for the week ending May 19, bringing total acreage planted to 71-percent complete. However, rain returned to the Corn Belt last week, likely causing additional delays. Corn acres not planted by early June have been traditionally converted to soybeans. Corn futures, at $6.57 per bushel, have traded in the $6.41 to $7.14 range in May, mostly driven by the weather.

Contact John T. Barone at [email protected].

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