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Less beef means summer cookouts could be more expensive

Saturday - 5/18/2013, 6:55am  ET

WASHINGTON - It's going to cost more to throw steaks and hamburgers on the grill this summer, as beef prices are on the rise.

Cookouts were put on hold due to this spring's cold, soggy start for most of April and early May. But this week's warmer temperatures have grocers stocking up on ground beef and steaks to get ready for the seasonal bump in sales.

Wholesale prices for choice ground beef are up 36 cents from what they were just last week, according to Reuters. There is less beef to go around than in past years, so prices could rise even higher as Memorial Day approaches.

Beef prices usually increase in the spring, but this year the low beef supply is driving costs higher than usual. Couple that with the late arrival of warm weather, and a record wholesale price high for for choice-grade beef has been set.

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