Outsiders, how much are you prepared to spend for a steak right now? You may have your limitations challenged if beef costs in the United States continue to rise.
Inflation is growing, and we are now experiencing it in various ways. However, in particular, one commodity has been wreaking havoc on our wallets: beef. What’s terrible is that the dramatic price rises we’ve already witnessed may be the tip of the iceberg.
What You Should Know
- People were prepared to pay “phenomenal” rates for meat throughout the epidemic.
- Some American buyers may begin experimenting with other protein sources.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in January 2022, boneless sirloin steak cost $10.83 per pound, the highest price since 1989.
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may potentially impact the global beef industry.
What Exactly Is Causing the United States’ Beef Prices to Soar?
You may be thinking that all meat prices are increasing at the moment, not just beef. Of course, you are correct. However, the reality is that beef costs have increased disproportionately compared to other protein sources.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, beef prices increased slightly more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. Pork prices increased 14% within the same period, chicken prices increased 8.8%, fresh fish and shellfish prices increased 11%, and eggs prices increased 11.6%. There is no way of knowing what those data will look like in 2022.
So why has the price of beef in the United States skyrocketed? To be sure, you cannot place all responsibility on a single factor. Numerous causes contributing to the huge increase in the price of beef may be traced back to 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak prompted the closure of meat processing factories.
Due to the production standstill, farmers were left with nowhere to send their meat. Indeed, many farmers have decided to reduce their output.
Ted Schroeder is a Kansas State University agricultural economist. He added that expenses have been high not only for consumers but also for meat producers.
“From land to labor to supplies, expenses for meat producers are increasing everywhere,” he explained.
Meanwhile, meat processing plants have faced labor shortages. This implies they cannot process the same amount of meat as they formerly could.
Nonetheless, demand for steaks and burgers has never waned. As a result, customers have been forced to pay high beef prices. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine already factored in, it’s impossible to predict how high beef prices will soar in 2022.