Beef Prices Will Stay High

There’s a lotta prices going up and not much coming down: beef among them.

David Anderson, Agri-Life Economist with Texas A&M, says the cost of beef will remain above the 5-year average of $5.82 for the foreseeable future.

Year-over-year prices don’t apply in the current environment because of the dislocation of normalcy during the pandemic last year. Anderson says a good chuck of beef that would have cost $7.59 a pound for the cancelled Fourth of July festivities that didn’t happen last year will run around $6.96 a pound this year.

Restaurants were taken out of the mix last year and the market for meat transitioned completely to the at-home consumer. Now restaurants are back, in need of the really good cuts of beef, but there hasn’t been an expected let-up in the consumer retail side. Simple supply and demand economics are at work, holding prices aloft. The same thing is happening with chicken and pork. Anderson says there are a lot of working parts involved in taking a cow from pasture to plate, and not all of the kinks in the supply chain have been worked out.

photo: Getty Images

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