US beef prices are on something of a rollercoaster ride this year, mostly due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In early April, prices for boxed ribeye beef (an industry price standard that tracks prime beef prices) were trading around $15/kg, which is exactly where you would expect them to be in a normal year.

However, once lockdown measures were introduced in the US most restaurants, cafés, diners, hotels and fast food outlets shut their doors. Just like in Europe, the loss of the important food service sector sent a rapid shock through the US beef market.