In The Cattle Markets: Summer Heats Up and So Are Brisket Prices

Brisket prices are heating up just like summer temperatures.  One of the most interesting beef demand trends over the last few years has been the growth in demand for briskets.  It’s not just new craft BBQ joints popping up everywhere in Texas, but even big chains like Arby’s jumping in and they all serve brisket.  Briskets used to be an inexpensive beef cut that benefitted from long, slow cooking at low temperatures.  They are no longer inexpensive.  What used to be a very inexpensive cut, the primal brisket is now only behind the primal rib and loin in value.  In the last week of May, the comprehensive cutout brisket value was $213.47 per cwt., up 19.4 percent from the same week the year before.  Just during May brisket prices jumped from $194.39 to $213.47 by the end of the month.  The monthly average price was up 12 percent compared to last year.  In comparison, only the primal short plate was up as much as 1 percent and the primal rib and loin were both down about 1 percent from a year ago.  Many top-end BBQ joints, called by some craft BBQ, working to produce a truly exceptional meal use and advertise USDA Prime or Branded briskets.  USDA Prime briskets hit $215.76 per cwt at the end of May and were outpaced by Branded primal briskets that hit $220.82 per cwt.  Prime, Branded, and Choice primal briskets are up 21 percent compared to a year ago, while Select and Ungraded are…

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