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Commodity prices continue to shatter records

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.

The assault on restaurant food costs has been unrelenting this year as commodity prices continue to shatter all-time record highs.

Last week, hog futures ($119.30/cwt), class III milk ($23.29/cwt), block cheese ($2.3625/lb.), No. 120 beef brisket ($2.74/lb.), No. 168 top rounds ($3.19/lb.), 50-percent lean beef trimmings ($1.62/lb.), 90-percent lean beef trimmings ($2.62/lb.) and nearly the entire pork complex reached new highs.

Additionally, in last week’s WASDE report, the USDA made some small changes that are supportive of grain prices, but were not as bullish as traders expected. Corn futures, which reached $4.86 per bushel pre-report, dropped to $4.72 last week. But corn futures are still up 14.6 percent since bottoming at $4.12 on Jan. 9. The May contract is trading at $4.86. Similarly, wheat futures at $6.90 per bushel have risen 25.2 percent after hitting a low of $5.51 on Jan. 29.

Contact John T. Barone at [email protected].

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