Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 10/22/2021
RECORD RETAIL MEAT PRICES

For September, retail meat prices continued to rise higher, with beef, pork, and broiler prices reaching record levels. The all-fresh retail beef price reached $7.40 per pound in September, up 17.8% from last year and a record high. The prior record retail beef price was set in June 2020 at $7.38 per pound. Retail pork prices were $4.72 per pound in September, up 16.4% from last year, also a record. For the last six consecutive months, retail pork prices have set new record levels. The broiler composite price was $2.16 per pound in September, an 8.0% increase from a year ago.


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PASTURES GO INTO DORMANCY WITH GREAT REGIONAL VARIABILITY

The USDA-National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS) weekly reading of range and pasture conditions is one week away from its normal U.S. seasonal conclusion. At the national level, 25% of pastures were rated good or excellent in the latest week compared to 20% a year ago.  At the other extreme, 22% of the pastures were rated very poor versus 17% in mid-October a year ago. LMIC analysis shows 23% of the beef cow herd was in states with 40% of the pastures rated good to excellent, unchanged from a year earlier.


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NUMBER OF CATTLE ON FEED UP IN WESTERN CANADA

The Canadian cattle herd has been eroding since 2017; the July 1 national count of beef cows had dropped by 6% (about 220,000 head) since mid-year 2017. Still, the monthly number of animals on-feed was above a year ago as of October 1.


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