America’s Beef Industry Slowly Recovering after COVID-19 Shutdown

Don't be surprised if you see the price of beef at the grocery store slowly start to drop in the next month or two. U.S. live cattle futures stabilized this week, and that means beef prices are weakening.

The beef industry is on the road to recovery. This after its supply chain, which brings cattle from the feedyard, to the processing plant, to the grocery store slowed, or in some cases came to a halt. The COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown led to a logjam in the supply chain, which resulted in a jump in the retail price of beef in April and May. Tracy Tomascik, associate director of the Commodity and Regulatory Activities division of the Texas Farm Bureau, says most supply chains are running again as shutdowns have been lifted. He also notes consumer demand is rising as people head back to work.

“The grocery stores, the retail outlets, have really helped consumers by not passing on all of the cost increases. So, from the farmer/rancher standpoint, we’re really expecting prices to start a downward trend,” Tomascik said.

Tomascik is optimistic, but warns that it will still take a while before the beef industry is fully rejuvenated.

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