CME Boxed Beef Index

CME Group developed the Boxed Beef Index as an
additional tool for managing the price risk associated with fed cattle and beef production.

The Boxed Beef Index reflects the prices paid for Choice and Select beef using the daily cutout values, as reported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The “cutout” is the approximate value of a carcass calculated using the prices paid for wholesale cuts of beef. The values, or cuts, used to calculate the cutout include the rib, chuck, round, loin, brisket, short plate, and flank.

Key benefits

Track the supply and demand dynamics of beef transacted on the spot cash market.

Compare the value of the CME Boxed Beef Index to the USDA-reported prices of negotiated fed cattle.

Access a daily publication of the CME Boxed Beef Index with our other cash-settled commodity index price reports.

How to calculate the CME Boxed Beef Index

The CME Boxed Beef Index is a five business day, volume-weighted measurement of the daily Choice and Select Cutout prices. The data is collected by the USDA and published in its “National Daily Boxed Beef Cutout and Boxed Beef Cuts – Negotiated Sales – Afternoon” (LM_XB403) report.

The index calculation begins by multiplying the daily number of loads by the corresponding daily cutout price for both Choice and Select and adding them to get the total daily value. Those results are then added to the four previous consecutive daily values to determine the five-day total value. The daily loads of Choice and Select are summed to determine the total daily load count. The most recent total daily load count is added to the four previous consecutive daily load counts to determine the five-day total load count.  

To determine the CME Boxed Beef Index value, divide the five-day total value by the five-day total load count. The result is a five business day weighted average price of beef carcass values in dollars per hundredweight ($/cwt).

Example calculation

Five business days ‒ ending on Friday, January 8, 2021:

Report Date

Choice Loads

Select Loads

 Choice Cutout

 Select Cutout

Total Choice Value

Total Select Value

Total Daily Value

Total Daily Loads














































Five-Day Total Value

Five-Day Total Loads

Weighted Average Price ($/cwt)




The five-day total value of 135,490.63 is divided by the five-day total load count of 663.29 to obtain the Boxed Beef Index price of $204.27 for the five business days ending on January 8, 2021.


USDA Boxed Beef Cutout and Cuts – Negotiated Sales Afternoon Report

View the daily USDA report of cutout values.

Boxed Beef Cutout and Cuts – Negotiated Sales

Twice-daily report outlining individual beef item sales, cutout values, and volume derived from individual beef item sales.

USDA Daily Beef Reports

Download daily reports listed by beef cutout.

USDA Datamart – Historical Data

View and download historical USDA reports for Boxed Beef and other meat varieties.

Commodity Index Prices

Find daily price data for CME Group Indexes on Boxed Beef, Pork Cutout, Feeder Cattle, Lean Hogs, and Fresh Bacon.

New Pricing Tools for the Meat Industry

OpenMarkets article discussing the new pricing tool for boxed beef that aims to help align livestock markets.

Frequently asked questions

Why is CME Group launching the Boxed Beef Index?

Beef is one of the world’s favorite proteins and the US produces the highest quality in the world. In December of 2020, the US exported over 285 million pounds of beef, just shy of a new all-time record. As demand for high-quality beef continues to grow, it is important that CME Group provides pricing and risk management tools across the entire beef production supply chain. Similar to the Pork Cutout Index, the Boxed Beef Index reflects the price of the wholesale product after processing.

Is this something commercial hedgers are requesting?

Yes, commercial hedgers have expressed a desire for an index to track the price of beef.

Can I trade the Boxed Beef Index on the exchange?

Currently, we are only publishing the Boxed Beef Index as a courtesy to our market participants and it is not a tradeable product. We did the same with the Pork Cutout Index beginning in 2015 before launching it as a tradeable product in 2020. We hope the marketplace will track the index and use the historical data file to create a benchmark price for beef.

Does CME Group plan to launch a Boxed Beef futures contract?

Though possible down the road, we have not made any decisions to launch a tradable contract at this time.

How is the index going to be used?

The CME Boxed Beef Index will provide a benchmark price that both producers and end users of beef can use to track and forecast price.

Why is this important?

As beef is one of the world’s favorite proteins, it is becoming more important for CME Group to provide a tool for market participants to use. 

Has CME Group ever pursued a beef contract in the past?

CME Group previously listed 50% and 90% Lean Beef contracts in 1997. The contracts briefly traded after launching, but were delisted in 2001. 

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