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Falling Beef Prices Help Operators Grow Steak Offerings

From Bret Thorn of Nation's Restaurant News: CENTENNIAL, Colo. The prices of some premium cuts of beef have fallen to their lowest levels in years as demand for those cuts has slowed, allowing restaurateurs to expand their steak selections and offer them at better prices to cash-strapped consumers. According to CattleFax, a Centennial-based market analyst firm for the cattle and beef industry, the wholesale prices for some Choice rib cuts and strip loin subprimals in February were at the lowest they had been since 2002. In addition, an increase in the amount of USDA Choice-grade meat available also has put downward pressure on prices. CattleFax‚s vice president of business development, Mike Miller, said beef in general is less expensive than it has been since prices began to spike in 2006. Choice prices in particular are down partly because recession-embattled customers have been trading down in quality, he said, and partly because the cattle industry has responded to the reduction in beef demand with a reduction in production. Full Article 

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