Steak prices drop as demand declines
The price of steak fell slightly last month, driven by a drop in consumer demand as Americans shifted their protein preferences to lower-priced options while persistent inflation continues to squeeze grocery budgets.
Labor Department data shows that the price of raw steak fell 1.5% year-on-year in July and 1% from June, while the price of more budget-friendly ground beef continued to rise — up 9.7% from a year ago.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the price of ribeye and beef fell nearly 10% from a year earlier in the four weeks leading up to August 7, and the price of breast meat was down 18%.
Although the CPI fell to 8.5% in July from a year earlier, food prices at home rose by 13.1%, the highest increase since March 1979.
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The drop in cutback prices for high-quality beef shows an ongoing trend with consumers increasingly making bargains at the grocery store to escape high inflation.
While “consumer demand for protein remains relatively flat,” Tyson Foods CEO Donny King said on the meat giant’s earnings call earlier this month, “people are shifting away from premium cuts of beef and pork to less expensive options like chicken.” .
While steak lovers welcome the low prices of their favorite butcher’s cuts, it remains to be seen if the trend continues.
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The US Department of Agriculture warned last month that widespread drought had prompted livestock producers to send more animals for slaughter. The flow of supplies helps keep beef prices at bay, but industry insiders tell FOX Business that dwindling herds mean prices will rise in the future.
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“We expect prices to continue to rise, but everyone needs to remember that it is not the cattle producers who set that price,” said Colin Woodall, chief executive of the National Beef Association at the time.
Megan Heaney and Daniela Genovese of FOX Business contributed to this report.