Where's the (Cheap) Beef?

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Rising beef prices mean pricier steaks

With the price of beef averaging about $5 per pound, it's getting harder to find a decent, yet inexpensive, steak. As beef prices keep rising, so does the cost of steak in restaurants — nearly $50 in some Manhattan steakhouses.

Reports Crain's New York, NYC eateries like The Palm, Morton's, and Uncle Jack's Steakhouse have had to bump up their prices in order to deal with a dwindling supply. Cattle experts say supplies could drop 4.1 percent this year alone, while beef exports rose nearly 21 percent last year. Adding to the problem is an increased foreign demand for beef.

Sure enough, restaurants are handing down the costs to their customers. While $40 steaks were rare just six years ago, $50 and even $60 steaks are on the rise. The most expensive? Crain's reports that it's the national steakhouse, Morton's, with a 24-ounce porterhouse for $60. No matter where you dine, expect to see higher prices. Says one Bronx-based wholesaler, consumers should expect to pay 10 percent more this year when dining out. (Maybe it's best to try a steak recipe at home.) However, not all steak lovers are panicking, as they expect costs to go down as the market fluctuates.