Steak price may be on the rise: JBS

JBS S.A., the world’s top beef producer, believes U.S. cattle prices could jump 20 percent to record highs next year — so long as drought conditions ease.

Assuming the rains return, beef ranchers will feed their animals instead of sending them to slaughter, resulting in a reduction in beef output in the U.S. of as much as 6 percent, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Record corn and soybean prices that followed the worst U.S. drought since 1956 boosted the cost of raising cattle sold to JBS and other major meatpackers, leading ranchers to cull their herds.

Next year, ranchers probably will rebuild herds and send fewer head to meatpacking plants, creating a shortage of slaughter-ready animals, which, in turn, will boost prices.

Retail beef prices in the U.S. rose to $4.772 a pound in October, according to the USDA. 

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